He has been described as one of Britain's most hated men but it appears Tony Blair has extraordinary appeal to the LBT community.

The Gay Times have voted him one of the top gay icons over the past 30 years alongside Boy George and Ian McKellen.

The magazine has chosen to feature him as their cover star for a special electronic version of the magazine to mark its 30th birthday.

During his 10-year tenure as Prime Minister Blair lowered the age of homosexual consent to 16, the same as straight couples, abolished section 28 of the Local Government Act, which descouraged the activities of LGBT-friendly groups, and introduced civil partnerships.

In a statement by the publication, it said: "Whatever the realities of his philanthropy and the backlash to his GQ award, his status as an ambassador of gay rights is undeniable.

"An equal age of consent, the abolition of Section 28, legal recognition for trans people, civil partnerships, banning employers from sacking you because of who you love and making homophobia a hate crime - they were all on Blair's watch."

Blair said he was proud of his new 'gay iconic title'.

"I consider it a significant part of my legacy", he added.