An 18-year-old gay rights campaigner has been left brain dead after an attack by far-right skinheads in Paris.

The Local reports Clément Méric, a student at Sciences Po in Paris, was violently attacked by a group of three skinheads, including one woman, near Saint-Lazare train station on Wednesday evening.

A vigil for Clément Méric will take place this evening.

In a statement, the democratic socialist party, Parti de Gauche, said: “The horror of fascism has just killed right in the middle of Paris.”

“Violently beaten to the ground by a group of activists from the extreme right, manifestly from the group JNR (Jeune Nationaliste Revolutionnaire), left motionless, he was declared this evening to be in a state of brain death at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris,” the statement added.

The leader of JNR, Serge Ayoub, has denied his group’s involvement in the attack.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, called the attack on the young student repulsive and detestable but said groups such as the JNR had no ties with her party.

When asked by RTL radio why one of the attackers was seen wearing a top with her party’s logo, she reacted angrily.

“Making this kind of association is scandalous, I’d like to know very much who this witness is,” Le Pen said. “You have no proof at all.”

It is the latest violent homophobic attack to have taken place in France in recent months.

Anti-gay crime has soared with the arrival of equal marriage in the country.

In April, Raphaël Leclerc, a gay cabaret dancer was beaten unconscious in Nice, and Wilfred de Bruijn, a gay librarian, was attacked in Paris.

In the same month four people were detained on suspicion of carrying out an attack at a gay bar in Lille.

President Francois Hollande called for the violence to stop in April.