A man has been arrested following an alleged homophobic assault at the office of a gay politician in Canada.

The Vancouver Police Department said that an intoxicated 53-year-old man entered the constituency office of Spencer Chandra Herbert, the gay MLA of Vancouver-West End, and became involved in a dispute with a staff member last Friday.

CBC reports the man was apparently angry about a rainbow flag that hangs in the front window of the office, and about another rainbow flag that is displayed in a community centre window.

“My assistant is recovering from the incident, but we are both shaken and shocked that someone felt it acceptable to express their hateful views by assaulting a government worker and damaging government property,” Spencer Chandra Herbert said in a written statement.

The incident is now being investigated by the Vancouver Police Hate Crimes Unit.

The suspect has been released without charge and is due to appear in court on 4 April.