The leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, said that people of faith should be protected by law to hold their “reasonable” position of disapproving of “gay lifestyle,” on the BBC.

Farage defended the “conscience clause” in the party’s Christian manifesto which states: “UKIP opposed same-sex marriage legislation because it impinged upon the beliefs of millions of people of faith.

“We will not repeal the legislation, as it would be grossly unfair and unethical to ‘un-marry’ loving couples or restrict further marriages, but we will not require churches to marry same-sex couples.

“We will also extend the legal concept of ‘reasonable accommodation’ to give protection in law to those expressing a religious conscience in the workplace on this issue.”

Farage was asked on the Andrew Marr show to explain what the “reasonable accommodation” meant.

To which he stated: “Let’s be clear, we have an active and growing LGBT group within UKIP, lots of gay candidates standing for us in these elections.

“There has been another establishment attempt to paint UKIP as anti-gay. That is rubbish.

“What we’re saying is that all minorities deserve respect, and gay people deserve their rights.

“But also Christians, and Muslims for that matter, should be able to hold the reasonable position that they don’t approve of some lifestyles.

Andrew Marr then pressed for clarification, asking: “If I’m running a B&B, and I don’t approve of gay people, can I say ‘I’m terribly sorry but you can’t come in?’” to which Farage replied: “Well that would be open prejudice.”

When Farage was pressed to give an example of an application of the UKIP conscience clause he answered: “No, I’m not going to”, and then said talking about “one tiddly piece of our manifesto” was distracting from the real issues.”