A prominent gay rights campaigner from Southend in Essex has started a petition demanding that the government bans the sale of Minstrels chocolates because the name includes the word ‘mince’ – a ‘derogatory term for the manner in which a homosexual male may walk.’

Alan Smith-Adams, 34, told Southend News Network that he was ‘astounded beyond all possible levels of belief’ that somebody else hadn’t already complained about the name since they were launched more than thirty years ago.

He added: ‘How can it be acceptable for a mass market chocolate product that is available literally everywhere to have a name that includes the word ‘mince’ when it is pronounced correctly.’

‘One of Britain’s most popular homophobic insults is ‘stop mincing along,’ and I have also heard evidence that people like to use ‘I bet he will be mincing down to the shops later on.’

‘Although I am not homosexual myself or have any friends that or homosexual, or indeed vaguely know anyone who is homosexual, I feel incredibly passionately about this – I won’t stop until all of them are withdrawn from sale.’

‘Imagine a child in a school playground saying this word and then stumbling between the two syllables – they could cause a huge amount of distress.’

This will be Alan’s second major campaign against the confectionery industry, after he launched legal action against the manufacturers of Smarties in 2015.

According to his legal team’s spokesperson, the name discriminated against people with a lower than average level of intelligence in society, with official court papers saying: ‘Chocolate should be inclusive of all sectors of society and walks of life, and it is our carefully considered opinion that the name ‘Smarties’ is both elitist and somehow racist as well.’