Organisers of the Mr Gay Europe event have said they are the victims of a homophobic online attack that has disabled their website.

The hackers left “a message of hatred” and promised they would “never give up fighting against the site.”

“This is just horrible,” Morten Ruda, President of the Mr Gay Europe organisation, told PinkNews.co.uk.

“At the moment we do our very best to recover all the articles and the photos on the site.

“The hackers seem to have found a way to break into the security system in the Joomla programme and were able to get into the server and make one hell of a mess.”

Mr Ruda said that while he could not be sure of the intentions of the online vandals, “with the clashes with nationalists and neo-Nazis during the 2008 finals in Budapest this year, it is very clear to us that there are enemies out there who want to harm us in any way they can.”

He said that it would take some time to restore the site.

The gay beauty pageant, which is closely modelled on events such as Miss World, took place in the Hungarian capital last month.

It included a “Mr Gay Swim Wear” competition.

20 people from across Europe are took part, including a representative from Wales and another from the UK.

Gay activists in Budapest complained that the police were not protecting gay businesses in the city while Mr Gay Europe had 400 policemen and women to protect them during the final.

An estimated 1,500 people participated in last month’s Budapest Pride despite threats of violence and actual attacks at the event.

The police protection was especially welcomed as the Budapest chief of police had originally tried to ban Pride, claiming that it would interfere with traffic.

SWAT officers called in from all over Hungary followed the march and intervened when necessary.

The march was supposed to end in a cordoned-off area where a concert was going to take place.

It was cancelled as a neo-Nazi mob had beaten up the performer and police were forced to use tear gas and a water cannon to clear the route for marchers to leave.

The marchers were then escorted by police to nearby metro station as the mob was dispersed.

In the week before Pride two gay venues were attacked with petrol bombs.