Liverpool library managers have apologised to a customer after he was told a gay magazine had been banned from his local library.

An inquiry was launched after Liverpool author John Harrison discovered that Sefton Park Library was no longer stocking Gay Times after complaints from other customers.

Harrison told the Liverpool Daily Post he visited the library on Saturday but could not find a copy of the magazine.

He said: “I asked behind the counter where it was and she said the management were not going to stock it any more because someone had complained.

“It’s ridiculous. There’s more explicit material on their shelves than this.

“I thought, what are they going to do now? Ban the works of Oscar Wilde? I find this a slap in the face to the gay community after all the major strides we are making.”

Liverpool city council has admitted a mistake was made and Harrison has now received a written apology.

The council does have a policy on publications with inappropriate front covers but a spokesman said these would be available from the reception desk.

In July 2007, an advertising campaign for Gay Times was banned from the London Underground after tube bosses thought it was too risque.

They rejected the image because they felt that one of the models was in a state of undress. A second, tamer, version was approved.