BISHOPS have backed a gay activist's bid to condemn a controversial 'cure' for homosexuality.

Prominent Church of England members have supported Jayne Ozanne's campaign against conversion therapy, and called on the Government to ban it.

The South Oxford resident represented Oxford diocese at a meeting of the General Synod, which is the governing body of the Church.

During a speech at the meeting in York, gay evangelical Christian Ms Ozanne described conversion therapy as 'abhorrent' and 'abusive'.

The therapy generally involves prayer and counselling and aims to 'treat' homosexuality and bisexuality.

Ms Ozanne told colleagues: "We must take seriously the testimony of victims of abuse.

"If we are humble enough to learn from our mistakes we will create a safer world, where none go through the trauma that some of us have endured."

Her private member's motion to condemn the therapy was amended several times, eventually calling for a complete ban.

It gained a majority of 298 votes to 74, with backing from all three houses of the synod, the bishops, clergy and laity.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail yesterday, 48-year-old Ms Ozanne said she was 'thrilled' by the show of support.

She said: "It was a better result than I ever anticipated - it gives me great hope."

"People have listened to the stories of harm and abuse and know we need to address it in the church."