Ann Widdecombe has come under fire after she suggested science could “produce an answer” to being gay.
In an interview on Sky News, the newly elected Brexit Party MEP was asked about previous comments she made concerning gay conversion therapy.
She said she had “pointed out that there was a time when it was thought impossible for men to become women”.
Labour MP Luke Pollard said Ms Widdecombe was “continuing her sick anti-LGBT campaign”.
‘Misrepresented quite often’
During the interview on the Ridge on Sunday programme, Ms Widdecombe, 71, was asked whether people would want to share a platform with her due to her views on homosexuality.
After referencing the scientific progress in gender reassignment, she added: “The fact that we now think it is quite impossible for people to switch sexuality doesn’t mean that science may not yet produce an answer at some stage.”
Pushed by the presenter on whether she thought it was a real possibility, Ms Widdecombe replied: “I don’t know any more than people once knew whether it was possible for men to become women.”
The MEP said she had “never claimed that such science already exists” to change someone’s sexuality.
But she added: “If you simply rule out the possibility of it, you are denying people who are confused about their sexuality or discontented with it, the chances that you do give to people who want to change gender.”
Her comments drew criticism on Twitter, including from Tory MP Justine Greening.
Mr Pollard wrote that he was “utterly ashamed to be represented by this vile woman.
“Being gay isn’t a disease to be cured. Ann Widdecombe is continuing her sick anti-LGBT campaign.”
Former Tory MP Nick Boles – who now sits as an independent – accused Ms Widdecombe of “poisonous bigotry”, while comedian Adi Ray said the comments were “deplorable”.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said she was “peddling homophobic nonsense”, adding: “She may have changed her party, but she hasn’t changed her stripes,”