Nigel Farage accused of ‘ducking’ gay rights by cancelling Live Lounge interview

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Nigel Farage has dropped out of a planned BBC Live Lounge interview with young people – in which other party leaders were challenged on gay rights.

Newsbeat is holding a number of Live Lounge events with party leaders ahead of next week’s election, in which young voters are given the opportunity to question the leaders on a number of topics.

Questions on LGBT rights made the news during both David Cameron and Ed Miliband’s sessions – when Northern Irish panellist Mary Hassan had heated exchanges with both the party leaders.

The panellist challenged the Prime Minister to rule out a coalition with the country’s Democratic Unionist Party over their anti-gay stance – which he failed to do – and also had a fiery exchange with Mr Miliband in which she called on him to live up to his promise of being a “warrior” for LGBT rights.

However, the UKIP leader Nigel Farage has cancelled his session in the Live Lounge, which had been set to take place tomorrow.

The BBC confirmed that Mr Farage would no longer appear at the event, telling PinkNews: “We’re hoping to interview an alternative from UKIP at a later date.”

According to Ms Hassan, the panellists have been informed that gay UKIP candidate Stephen Woolfe is set to be questioned in his place next week.

She told PinkNews: “I think Nigel has actually watched the other debates and has decided that sending this guy is the best way around accusations of homophobia, which is an absolute joke.

“Every other leader turned up… I’m fuming.”

A UKIP spokesman told PinkNews that the leader had pulled out due to a clash with another event.

The leader is still expected to take part in a Q&A with PinkNews readers before the election. David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband‘s Q&As have already taken place.