A British conservative politician has made bizarre comments suggesting environmental pollution is making people trans.

Former Conservative Party chair Lord Tebbit claimed trans people were a new phenomenon, according to Pink News.

“I cannot recollect any such individuals among my fellow pupils at school, nor in my intake for National Service in 1949, nor so far as I know among my children’s generation at school,” he wrote in an article this week.

“I think it is time we had some research into the extent of the phenomenon both in time and geographical reach.

“I do not know if the populations of third world or of urban or of rural societies are more or less affected.

“Nor is it known if it is only our species or others living alongside us which have been affected, but that knowledge might point to a trigger such as pollution, which is the belief of some scientists.”

Lord Tebbit’s comments, which seem to pathologise trans people, come after British Prime Minister Theresa May last week called being trans “not an illness”.

“Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia have not been defeated, and they must be,” said May, speaking at the Pink News Awards.

“Trans people still face indignities and prejudice, when they deserve understanding and respect. And when we look around the world, we see countries where the human rights of [LGBTI] people are denied and terrible suffering is the result.

“We have set out plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act, streamlining and de-medicalising the process for changing gender, because being trans is not an illness, and it shouldn’t be treated as such.”

Lord Tebbit has a solid history of opposing LGBTI people.

Earlier this year he referred to the Bible to support his belief that “a homosexual act is a sin”, and said that he is against same-sex marriage.

“I opposed gay marriage because it is fundamentally not what marriage was set out to be,” he said.

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