Tory MEP Roger Helmer quits

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Conservative MEP Roger Helmer, who has been accused of homophobia, has resigned.

Mr Helmer, who last year angered gay campaigners with a tweet about ‘gay cure’ therapy, said there are “far too many” areas of Conservative policy he can no longer agree with.

He is to stand down on December 31st after 12 years as the representative for the East Midlands.

The politician told BBC News: “I could give the usual reasons for standing down as being spending time with the family or my age but, as I made clear to the regional chairman of the party, a key factor is there are just getting to be too many areas of Conservative policy I can’t justify. ”

Mr Helmer went on to say he was “disillusioned” with the coalition government and disappointed with policies such as subsidies for renewable energy.

He said he would not defect to Ukip.

At the begining of this year, Mr Helmer tweeted: “Why is it OK for a surgeon to perform a sex-change operation, but not OK for a psychiatrist to try to ‘turn’ a consenting homosexual?”

Previously, he claimed that the word ‘homophobia’ has “no meaning” and that he had “never met anyone with an irrational fear of homosexuals”.

He has also called the Catholic Church “systemically paedophile” and argued over the difference between “classic stranger-rape” and “date rape”.