Yuri Luzhkov, the homophobic mayor of Moscow, has been fired by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev.

Mr Luzhkov, who bans gay Pride marches and has called gays and lesbians “satanic”, has been fighting for his political life in the past few weeks.

According to a presidential decree, the 74-year-old, a senior member of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, was sacked because he lost “the trust of the president of the Russian Federation”.

Mr Luzhkov’s dismissal is said to be immediate. He has not yet commented.

He has been the mayor of Moscow since 1992 and was once seen as a future Russian president.

However, he lost the support of the Kremlin and has been plagued by allegations of corruption, along with claims he bulldozed Moscow’s historic buildings.

One TV channel claimed he had channelled funds and deals to his wife, a property developer who is now Russia’s richest woman.

Mr Luzhkov’s departure is expected to be welcomed by gay rights campaigners in Moscow, who have had their plans for Pride marches thwarted for years.