Tory leadership hopeful Stephen Crabb has denied supporting so-called gay 'cure' therapy, blaming "political opponents" for spreading the "complete falsehood".
The 43-year-old MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire has come under increased scrutiny in recent days after formally announcing his bid to replace David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party when the Prime Minister steps down in September in the wake of last month's EU referendum result.
Since the announcement that he will run in the contest alongside Teresa May, Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom, renewed interest had been taken in Crabb's links to an evangelical Christian organisation which has previously sponsored events referring to gay and bisexual people as "sexually broken" and advocating that they can become "ex-gay".
The Work and Pensions Secretary, who is an outspoken Christian and voted against same-sex marriage in England and Wales in 2013, employed parliamentary interns through a scheme organised and funded by Christian Action Research and Education (CARE), and also began his own political career through a scheme with the group in the 1990s.
Speaking to the Today programme
's Mishal Husain this morning (July 5), Crabb said that despite using the intern scheme, suggestions he believes homosexuality can be cured are "entirely fabricated".
"I don't believe being gay is a sin. I don't believe it's something to be cured. I've never said anything like that," he told the programme.
"I've never said anything at all to suggest that I endorse gay cure therapy. This is completely falsehood spread by political opponents."
When challenged on employing interns through CARE, Crabb replied: "Members of parliament from all political parties over the year have participated in the intern scheme that you refer to.
"I don't know if [supporting gay 'cure' therapy] is a view that CARE holds. If it is, I don't agree with it. The idea that being gay is something to be cured, that is reprehensible. That's never been part of anything I believe and certainly not part of my Christian outlook".
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