A Northern Ireland MP has spoken out after an arson attack on the home of a gay couple in his constituency.

A lit disposable lighter was left against the front door of their home in the city of Londonderry, causing minor damage.

The News Letter reports that the couple are so distressed by the incident, which took place last Wednesday, that they may leave the area.

Police said they are investigating.

Mark Durcan MP, who is the leader of the nationalist SDLP, told The News Letter:

“This attack was fuelled by sickening homophobia and must be met with vocal and outright rejection, both in Derry and throughout our wider society.

“As a community, we need to show our solidarity with those who suffer this awful prejudice, and we need to show those who attack them that it is they who are in the tiny minority in this society,” he said.

The city’s branch of the Rainbow Project was first informed about the incident and the police were told on Friday.