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Elton has told the BBC‘s Emily Maitlis that comments made by writer Germaine Greer about transgender women ”not being women” have shown her to be ”an attention seeker.”

Speaking last month to BBC Newsnight, Ms Greer said she would be prepared to use female pronouns when referring to someone, if that was their preference, “as a courtesy.”

”We have to have sympathy for them [transgender people] – and we have to stop the barbaric treatment, especially in prisons, of people like that,” Elton stated.

Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International has reacted to Elton’s recent statements supporting same-sex marriage.

 Patrick Corrigan said:

“Sir Elton John’s support for marriage equality in Northern Ireland is very welcome.

“Sir Elton has a proud track record of standing up for gay rights around the world. It’s great that he’s speaking out for the rights of LGBTI people in Northern Ireland, which is now the only part of the UK or Ireland that ban same-sex marriage.

“He’s 100% correct when he says that most people in Northern Ireland back same-sex marriage and that if there was a public vote it would ‘sail in’. Local politicians who continue to block equality must wake up and realise the damage they’re causing to gay people in Northern Ireland, as well as to our international reputation.”

But DUP member Jeffrey Donaldson hit back and said it was up to the Executive to decide what was best for Ulster.

“Elton John is entitled to his opinion, but the reality is that we have a mandate to govern and we have to make decisions based on what we believe is best for Northern Ireland,” he added.

“The devolution settlement respects that degree of autonomy and therefore these matters should be decided at Stormont, not elsewhere.”

Northern Ireland politicians voted on same-sex marriage for the fifth time on Monday, with a majority of MLAs voting in favour for the first time.

But there will be no change in the law after the DUP used a controversial petition of concern to scupper the move.