Police are appealing for witnesses after a gay man was beaten in an unprovoked attack in central London in the early hours of this morning (Friday).

The victim, 42, was walking up Villiers Street in the Charing Cross area at around 3:40am. As he turned on to The Strand, he was attacked by a man and a woman, both aged between 25 and 30.

They pushed him to the ground and kicked him in the head repeatedly before running off in the direction of Trafalgar Square.

He was treated in hospital for facial injuries and was discharged this morning.

Police are treating the attack as motivated by homophobia and have released CCTV images of two suspects.

The first suspect is described as a black female with a slim build and shoulder-length hair. She was wearing a red top and jeans.

The other suspect is described as a black male who was wearing a white t-shirt, white bottoms and black trainers.

Investigating officer DC Steve Beech said: “This was a completely unprovoked attack on the victim. I am confident that someone will recognise the two people in these pictures.

“There were a lot of people in the area at the time and I want to ask anyone who knows who these people are, or who has any information about the incident to come forward. Any detail, however small, could help us to piece together what happened.”

Two years ago, 62-year-old Ian Baynham died after he was punched and kicked in the head while on a night out in Trafalgar Square. His assailants shouted anti-gay slurs as they attacked him.

In April, gay events organiser and socialite Philip Sallon was badly injured when he was attacked in Piccadilly.

Anyone with information about the latest attack should call the Met Police non-emergency number 101. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.