The extreme-right group National Front has been accused of placing homophobic stickers around the Canal Street area of Manchester.

According to the north west-based Lesbian and Gay Foundation, the stickers began appearing several weeks ago in the popular gay village.

Locals had been tearing them down until complaints were reported to police on Monday.

They read: “The National Front. Homosexuality equals AIDS. The queer plague.”

A phone number on stickers directed callers to an answerphone message about membership.

One man told the charity: “As a positive gay man walking through our community on Canal Street last weekend, I was appalled to find a sticker placed there by the National Front attacking us as a community. The ignorance and prejudice held by the National Front is just shocking, if it wasn’t so ludicrous.

“Why should I, let alone anyone else in our gay community, or even Manchester, have to deal with such stigma, discrimination or hatred in 2009?”

The far-right party picketed London Pride earlier this year and opposes equal rights for gays and lesbians.

On its website, it states: “Gay bars will be closed, soaps will have their gay story lines removed and public displays of homosexuality, lesbianism and transgenderism will also be made illegal.”

Calls made to the National Front for comment were not answered.