By Sasjkia Otto
David Cameron has defended a colleague over reports she founded a church to 'cure ' homosexuality.
Mr Cameron said last night neither he nor Philipa Stroud, standing for Sutton and Cheam, believed homosexuality could be cured.
"She believes in gay equality," he told BBC Asian Network. "She's actually put out a very clear statement to say she was completely misreported."
Ms Stroud founded a church that tried to ' cure' homosexuality by driving out their demons through prayer, the Observer reported last week.
It quoted three people who attended the church and said Ms Stroud was involved in the King's Arms project for 10 years after it was founded in 1989.
As the head of the Centre for Social Justice, a think tank set up by former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, her work has reportedly influenced as many as 70 Conservative policies on subjects including the family.
Mrs Stroud has released a statement saying: "The idea that I am prejudiced against gay people is both false and insulting. I make no apology for being a committed Christian.
"However it is categorically untrue that I believe homosexuality to be an illness, and I am deeply offended that the Observer has suggested otherwise."