A senior MP and member of the opposition in Britain has defended the right of bed and breakfasts to turn away gay and lesbian couples.

Chris Grayling, the shadow Home Secretary, said in a speech that in the case of whether “a Christian hotel owner has the right to exclude a gay couple from a hotel… that individual should have the right to decide who does and who doesn’t come into their own home.”

His statement was made at a private think-tank, but was secretly recorded and released to the public.

The comment has dealt a severe blow to Conservative leader David Cameron’s recent bid to attract the pink vote in the upcoming general elections.

Cameron is now under pressure to clarify his party’s position on the matter, although it has been claimed that Grayling was expressing his past sentiments in the talk, but had since changed his mind.

Last month, the BBC reported that a gay couple was refused accommodation at a guest house in Berkshire because the owner said that it was “against her convictions” for two men to share a bed.

British gay rights groups Stonewall noted that under the Goods and Services – Sexual Orientation Regulations of 2007, “it’s illegal for businesses to turn away gay customers or discriminate against them when providing goods or services, and this can’t be overridden by personal prejudice”.

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