A lesbian couple on the Isle of Man claim they were refused a flat due to their sexuality.

Kira Izzard and Laura Cull wanted to rent a house in Ramsey next door to their family.

But at the last minute, their estate agent rang to tell them the landlord had changed his mind.

The couple, who are due to enter into a civil partnership this year, were told the landlord was perfectly entitled to refuse the tenancy due to their sexual orientation, as there is no Manx law provisions which protect LGBT people against discrimination in accessing goods and services.

Ms Cull said: “I was really upset and teary as we had our hearts set on that particular house. It is right next door to my sister and we could have literally watched my three-year-old nephew grow up.

“It then settled in that the reason we couldn’t rent the house was because of the fact we are a same-sex couple and my sadness turned to a complete numbness as it never occurred to me that this would even be a factor in this day and age and it felt like a personal attack.”

The Manx Parliament brought the Human Rights Act into effect on the Island in 2006 when the UK Government threatened to impose legislation themselves. The Human Rights Act only guarantees that the state or an organ of the state will afford basic human rights and does not set out how private persons or businesses should behave.

Isle of Man Minister for Environment Phil Gawne said: “I am shocked to note that our legislation allows such things to happen here and will do what I can to work with colleagues to ensure that such discrimination cannot take place in the future.”