A GROUP of MPs from the region are calling on the Government to clamp down on psychotherapists offering to convert people from homosexuality.

A total of 28 politicians have signed an Early Day Motion calling on the Government to ensure NHS medical professionals do not refer patients for 'gay to straight' conversion therapy.

The move was prompted partly by a newspaper investigation which revealed that one psychotherapist offering conversion therapy claimed most of her clients were forwarded from her local GP.

The motion states that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is not a disease or illness and such therapy can be “both ineffective and potentially extremely harmful”.

MPs from the region who have put their name to the motion include Northumberland’s Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell, North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon and York MP Hugh Bailey.

They also want steps taken to ban the therapy for under-18s.

One of the organisations offering such psychotherapy is a Christian ministry called the Core Issues Trust.

Last year the trust held a conference in Belfast entitled The Lepers Amongst Us: Homosexuality and the Life of the Church.

Mike Davidson, co-director of the trust, was a trainee psychotherapist registered with the UK Council for Psychotherapy before he was removed after giving a BBC interview supporting gay conversion therapy. He is now appealing against being struck-off.

He claims there is no scientific evidence demonstrating homosexuality is biological and said they only worked with people who wanted to be treated.

He said: “Even if it were proven, surely anyone who wished to move away from homosexuality should be able to have that choice.”

Mr Davidson said he underwent conversion from homosexuality with the support of his wife.

“This has been my journey. I moved away from homosexuality. I think it’s profoundly disrespectful to someone to say they shouldn’t try this,” he said.

But the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is strongly opposed to such therapy and supported any move to clamp-down on it.

UKCP chief executive, David Pink, said: “For years, UKCP has opposed the use of psychotherapy to 'cure' gay people.

"Some people are gay, and they may want the help of a therapist because they are unhappy, but a good psychotherapist will not see their sexuality as an illness needing a cure.

"As the leading professional psychotherapy organisation, we are absolutely committed to our members providing a safe space for individuals to explore their sexuality.

"Ethical, UKCP professional psychotherapists will not perform so-called reparative or conversion therapy, and we would hope that the NHS would have nothing to do with it either."

York MP Hugh Bailey said: “Homosexuality is not an illness or a crime, it’s a fact of life. It’s really important NHS money is not used for quack therapies which don’t work.”