“Gay cure” MP Iris Robinson voted Bigot of the Year at Stonewall Awards

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Northern Ireland politician Iris Robinson has been named as the Bigot of the Year at the Stonewall Awards.

She has refused to withdraw comments that homosexuality is an abomination and gay people can be “cured” by therapy.

Mrs Robinson, the MP and MLA for Strangford and chair of the Northern Ireland Assembly health committee, has been at the centre of controversy since June, when she said in a radio interview about a homophobic assault that the victim could be “cured” of his homosexuality.

She cited the work of her adviser, psychiatrist Dr Paul Miller, as an example.

She said: “I have a very lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my offices and his Christian background is that he tries to help homosexuals trying to turn away from what they are engaged in.

“I am happy to put any homosexual in touch with this gentleman and I have met people who have turned around to become heterosexual.”

Dr Miller has since resigned as her adviser.

Mrs Robinson caused further uproar in July, when it emerged that during committee proceedings in the Commons last month, she told MPs:

“There can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children.”

In July she claimed she is the victim of an anti-Christian witchunt, and later clarified her stance.

“Over the past few weeks, some people have attempted to suggest that I indicated that homosexuality is a mental-health issue, and they have twisted everything that was said on Stephen Nolan’s radio show,” she said in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

“I have got broad shoulders, and can take the brickbats that followed from that. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Homosexuality, like all sin, is an abomination.”

The Bigot of the Year award was voted for by Stonewall supporters and she won “overwhelmingly,” according to a Stonewall spokesperson.

The awards ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London was attended by celebrities from the worlds of music, politics and the arts.

Gene Robinson, the only out gay bishop in the Anglican communion, was voted Hero of the Year.

A group of around 70 trans protesters gathered outside the event to protest the nomination of Julie Bindel as Journalist of the Year.

The London Feminist Network mounted a smaller counter-demonstration in support of Ms Bindel, who trans activists claim is transphobic.

More than a dozen police were on hand to monitor the situation but both demonstrations passed off peacefully.

The Journalist of the Year award went to Dr Miriam Stoppard of the Daily Mirror.

The other winners were:

Broadcaster of the Year – Sandi Toksvig (The News Quiz and Excess Baggage). The judges congratulated her for her wit and ‘masterful sense of comedy timing.’

Entertainer of the Year – Sue Perkins. Winner of TV’s Maestro competition and rare openly lesbian role model in the public eye.

Politician of the Year – Waheed Alli. The judges praised Lord Alli’s ‘tireless courage’ and ‘relentless passion’ for lesbian and gay equality.

Publication of the Year – Time Out. For its weekly essential information on lesbian and gay London, including features and cultural events beyond the capital’s commercial scene.

Stonewall Sports Award – Stonewall Lions FC. Winners of this year’s Gay Football World Championship. The judges called them ‘a beacon of light in the darkness of homophobia that exists in football.’

Writer of the Year – Stella Duffy. For her eleventh novel, The Room of Lost Things, published to hugely positive reviews this year.

Stonewall & Barclays Community Group of the Year – UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group. Winner of a £5,000 cheque presented at the ceremony.