Hotel chain Thistle has apologised after a gay couple claimed that a receptionist at one of the company’s London hotels refused to let them stay in a double room.

Nick Hurley, 22, and Gavin Maclean, 28, from Manchester, said they had booked the double room at the Thistle City Barbican hotel for Saturday night.

But when they came to check in the receptionist insisted they take a room with separate beds.

Mr Hurley said both he and his partner were treated in a “homophobic way”.

The hotel chain said they were investigating the matter and that it did not tolerate homophobia.

Chris King, spokesman for the Thistle Hotel Group, told ITV News: “From our initial investigations it appears that the couple booked through an online booking system which didn’t work properly and so when they arrived at the hotel there were no double rooms available. We are very sorry if the couple feel they have been badly treated and we are now looking into the situation.”

Mr King added: “Having spoken to Mr Hurley we understand that the couple were not to upset that there were no double rooms available, but rather with the manner in which this information was conveyed. We have offered them a free night in one of our hotels but they have refused this offer. Thistle does not tolerate homophobic behaviour and will investigate this matter thoroughly.”

The Equality Act 2010 states that it’s illegal to refuse to provide goods and services based upon a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity.