Ann Widdecombe has come under fire for suggesting science could one day “produce an answer” to being gay.
In an interview with Sky News, the newly-elected Brexit Party MEP said: "The fact that we now think it is quite impossible for people to switch sexuality doesn’t mean that science may not yet produce an answer at some stage.”
“I don’t know any more than people once knew whether it was possible for men to become women."
She continued: “I’ve merely said if you simply rule out the possibility of it, you’re denying people who are confused about their sexuality or just contented with it the chances you do give to people who want to change gender."
Her comments have attracted criticism from all sides of politics.
Gay Conservative MP Justine Greening, tweeted: “We don’t need a cure for love”.
And London mayor Sadiq Khan said Ms Widdecombe “may have changed her party, but she hasn’t changed her stripes.”
“Ann Widdecombe is still peddling homophobic, bigoted, anti-LGBT and anti-science nonsense," he wrote on Twitter.
Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy accused Ms Widdecombe of being a “bigot” wanting to drag the UK “back to the 19th Century”.
"Absolutely poisonous," he wrote.
"Bigots like Ann Widdecombe want to drag us back to the 19th century, throwing minorities out in the cold on the way. We must stand up to them before it is too late."
Comedian Stephen Fry also weighed in, asking: “Will science ever find an answer to Ann Widdecombe?”.
Stonewall’s Director of Communications described the MEP's comments as "troubling".
Kim Sanders told talkRADIO’s Eamonn Holmes: “It is really damaging because there may be young people who are coming to realise that they are different and gay - and then they hear this.
“To hear that there is something medically wrong with you, that is a really troubling thing to hear from someone in a public office.”
Ms Widdecombe was one of 29 Brexit party MEPs elected to the European Parliament last month.
She retired as a Conservative MP in 2010, but returned to politics as the lead candidate for the Brexit Party in South West England.
During her time in Parliament she actively campaigned against the legality of abortion and LGBT rights.