A driver for London’s largest minicab firm Addison Lee has lost his job for calling a gay couple “dirty” and ejecting them from his car for holding hands.

The incident occurred on the early hours of Thursday morning outside of G-A-Y Late in Soho.

After the incident occurred, Liam Kelly tweeted: “My BF and I got into a taxi from G-A-Y Late. Started holding hands and were told to get out, and called dirty.”

He later added: “Thank you to everyone for your messages of support, they mean a lot. We’re home now, after a very nice black taxi journey.”

Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services has been illegal in the UK since 2007.

Today, Addison Lee released a statement saying: “We can confirm that in the early hours of August 22nd, the two passengers exited their original vehicle after an altercation with the driver and shortly afterwards continued their journey in a second Addison Lee cab.

“On notification of the incident, Addison Lee immediately suspended the driver from continuing to provide his services to the company and investigated the incident. Although the driver denied that any argument occurred, due to the seriousness of the accusations the driver’s contract with Addison Lee was ended by mutual agreement.

“Addison Lee has unreservedly apologised to both customers involved for the incident and any distress caused. Although the company has a strong record as an equal opportunities employer and is proud to carry over 10 million Londoners every year, we will be consulting with specialist diversity experts to take steps to ensure isolated incidents such as this do not occur again. We are confident that this is not representative of our overall customer experience and our ongoing support for equality and respect for all passengers and employees.”