LOCAL MP Stephen Doughty has condemned Downing Street officials and called for Theresa May to sack a member of her staff, after a gay Pakistani whistleblower was outed by a government advisor.

Shahmir Sanni, a former volunteer for the supposedly independent branch of the Vote Leave campaign, ‘BeLeave’, had last week named his ex-partner Stephen Parkinson – a special advisor to Theresa May – as being one of a number of individuals alleged to have broken spending rules during the referendum campaign.

As part of an investigation conducted by The Observer and Channel 4, Mr Sanni had claimed that money was funnelled through BeLeave to enable Vote Leave to spend more than they were legally allowed to, under electoral spending laws.

Mr Sanni - who is of Pakistani origin - had kept his sexuality secret for fear it would endanger his mother and sisters still living in Pakistan, where homosexuality remains illegal and rights of gay people are limited.

But in what appears to have been an official government statement issued on Friday (March 23), Mr Parkinson revealed that he had been in a relationship with Mr Sanni during the campaign, and suggested ill-feeling may have prompted his claims.

Mr Doughty has joined calls from a group of LGBT politicians for the Prime Minister to issue a public apology to Mr Sanni, and for Mr Parkinson to be dismissed from his role.

In a joint statement issued to Downing Street on Monday (March 26), the group said: “It is despicable for the office of Prime Minister to launch a vindictive personal attack this way, and unacceptable for your office to out people in an attempt to discredit them.

“The statement was an abuse of power against a vulnerable young man and his family, and it demeans your office.

“We call on you to apologise to the young man in question and to sack the member of your staff responsible for this serious abuse of privileged position they hold.”

Mr Doughty described Mr Parkinson’s actions as “vindictive and dangerous” on social media.

Theresa May defended Mr Parkinson over the incident in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon (March 27), adding that his statement was in a personal capacity and not an official government communication.