Far-right group National Front has said it will not hold an anti-gay protest at Reading Pride this weekend.

The group had applied for police permission but a spokesman has now said it does not want to interrupt the parade.

He added that the National Front wanted the right to protest peacefully.

The group believes in returning to the criminalisation of gay sex and is against the “promotion” of homosexuality. It has protested at Pride events in the past.

Jamie Wake, a Reading Pride spokesman, told getreading.co.uk: “Reading Pride has been advised today that the planned protests by the National Front will no longer be taking place.

“While we agree with freedom of expression for all members of Reading’s diverse community, we understandably had concerns with regards to the racist and homophobic views and opinions shared by the National Front’s members.

“We have always planned for a colourful but safe parade through the town centre to the festival site and recent events have demonstrated why there is still a need for pride festivals up and down the country. “

Police say they will still be attending the parade to ensure “public safety”.