Slimming World, the weight loss company, has said it will allow gay couples to enter its Mr & Mrs slimming competition after members complained to PinkNews.co.uk.

Jean-Paul Ravenk and his partner were barred from entering the competition, as were Rob Perry-Griffiths and his partner.

Both couples were told the competition was for straight couples only, although entrants did not need to be married.

In response to Mr Ravenk’s complaint, Slimming World said: “The competition has been very successful for many years, so we would like to preserve what works for us, whilst also of course ensuring that we are fair to all of our members.”

Mr Perry-Griffiths was told the company would consider setting up a separate competition for gay couples if numbers were high enough.

Today, spokeswoman Jenny Caven said: “Slimming World has changed its competition policy to ensure that all future competitions will be open to everyone no matter what their sexual orientation.

“We are grateful to Jean-Paul Ravenk and PinkNews.co.uk for bringing the error in our policy to our attention. Slimming World would like to sincerely apologise for any offence or distress caused to the LGBT community.”