WYCOMBE MP Steve Baker hit out at a Labour MP’s comments on faith schools in the Commons and said: “Christians in this country have had enough.”

‘Committed Christian’ Mr Baker criticised Tom Blenkinsop, who said plans to let more schools get academy status would involve those from a ‘fringe movement’.

Top Buckinghamshire schools have applied for this status.

Mr Baker said: “If Conservative members spoke in these terms about different minorities, I am sure he would be quick to condemn us.”

He hit out after Mr Blenkinsop, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, slammed academies, which are free from council control.

He said these would ‘flourish at the real expense’ of Church of England and Roman Catholic schools.

Mr Blenkinsop warned of the involvement of ‘fundamentalist Christian groups’ in academies.

A school in his constituency had allegedly banned Harry Potter books because of its involvement with an ‘evangelist’ group, he said.

The changes pave the way for schools to teach creationism, he said.

He said: “This deregulation of public education will significantly increase the power and influence of any fringe movement.”

Yet Mr Baker said: “Speaking as a committed Christian, I am most surprised to hear the hon. Gentleman talking in these terms about minorities.

“If Conservative members spoke in these terms about different minorities, I am sure he would be quick to condemn us.

“Although I am a committed Christian, I spent yesterday evening in the mosque. I was happy to be there with those gentlemen; I get on terribly well with them.

“I ask the hon. Gentleman to use more moderate language in his description of Christians.

“I think Christians in this country have had enough; they deserve to be treated with the same sort of respect that the hon. Gentleman would expect for any minority.”

Mr Blenkinsop said he was Catholic and said: “I am talking about checks and balances for all minorities with respect to other minorities.”

He said: “It could lead to the creation of religious academies which, unlike maintained faith schools, would lack the moderating and sensible constraints and influence of local communities.”

County schools which have expressed an interest in becoming an academy are the Royal Grammar School and John Hampden Grammar School in High Wycombe, Dr Challoner's Grammar School in Amersham, Seer Green C of E Combined, Chalfont C of E School and Coleshill Church of England Infant School.

Those rated outstanding by inspectors Ofsted are eligible to become academies as soon as September.

Highcrest Community School, Wycombe High School, and Chesham High School have also expressed an interest in academy status but are currently ineligible.