Thatcher’s biographer Charles Moore has claimed that Labour’s female leadership hopefuls would do better if they were a “middle-class version of Clare Balding” and “possibly lesbian”.
Mr Moore, who was formerly the Editor of the Telegraph and the Spectator, made the claims in a Spectator column.
He wrote: “Ms Kendall looks like a nice person, but not in a distinctive way.
“I sense that the right woman leader to win a general election for Labour today would conform to one of two physical types.
“She would either be a more lower-middle-class version of Clare Balding — reassuring, competent, well-rounded, possibly lesbian — or more provocative and sassy, like the wonderful one with a strong northern accent whose name I have forgotten who talks about money and business on BBC Breakfast.
“Her feminism would be of the ‘Show, don’t tell’ variety. The public would like that, but of course Labour party members, who make the selection, wouldn’t.
“They are still so 20th-century that they prefer a man with a dull beard.”
Reacting to the column, Liz Kendall tweeted “Good grief….”, before adding it would appear they were living “sometime in the 1950s”.
Moore is a consistent critic of LGBT rights, claiming recently that same-sex marriage is a “trend” like “asbestos”.
He last year blamed the rise of UKIP among traditionally Conservative voters, in part, on David Cameron’s backing of same-sex marriage.
In March he complained that “traditional views” are being drowned out by “a form of gay rights Sharia”.