A Christian Tory candidate who faced slurs over her church involvement has been backed by party leader, David Cameron.
Philippa Stroud is standing for the Conservative Party in Sutton and Cheam, South London.
At the weekend The Observer newspaper alleged that she helped establish a church 20 years ago that taught homosexual conduct could be ‘cured’ through ‘prayer’.
The Guardian website reports that Tony Blair’s former press secretary, Alastair Campbell, was pushing for the story to have wider coverage.
But David Cameron told the BBC that Mrs Stroud had made “a very clear statement to say she was completely misreported”.
In her statement Mrs Stroud said: “I make no apology for being a committed Christian.
“However, it is categorically untrue that I believe homosexuality to be an illness and I am deeply offended that The Observer has suggested otherwise.
“I have spent 20 years working with disturbed people who society have turned their back on and are not often supported by state agencies; drug addicts, alcoholics, the mentally ill and the homeless that I and my charitable friends in the public sector have tried to help over the years.
“The idea that I am prejudiced against gay people is both false and insulting.”
Philippa Stroud lives in Sutton with her husband David, a church leader, and their three teenage children.
She is Director of the Centre for Social Justice, an independent think-tank set up by Iain Duncan Smith in 2004 to tackle poverty and social breakdown.
Last month senior Tory, Chris Grayling, said Christians who run B&Bs from their own home should be allowed freedom of conscience over the provision of double beds to same-sex couples.
Labour and the Lib Dems slammed the suggestion and Labour’s Alan Johnson called for Mr Grayling to be sacked.
But Mr Grayling said that “we must be sensitive to the genuinely held principles of faith groups in this country.”