DESPITE protests from gay rights campaigners, the Mayor of Barnet welcomed the visit of the Mayor of London to a Brent Cross Church.

Boris Johnson accepted an invitation from Jesus House Centre, in Brent Terrace, to attend a community carol service on Wednesday.

But gay human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, of the gay equality group OutRage, criticised the move on the grounds that the church's founding pastor, Agu Irukwu, was openly opposed to homosexual equality.

Mr Tatchell went on record saying it was “a big mistake” that Mr Johnson went to the service, adding: “He should not attend this church, for the same reason that he should not attend a church where the pastor preaches against black or Jewish people or against equal rights for women or Muslims.”

But Barnet Councillor Brian Coleman, in his capacity as London Assembly member for the borough, said: “It is entirely right and proper that the Mayor reaches out to all communities in London and I’m very pleased that he has been able to come to my constituency and attend the Jesus House carol service.”