An election candidate in Reading is calling for Chick-Fil-A to stay at The Oracle.

Christian Peoples Alliance candidate Yemi Awolola has set up a petition calling for the controversial American fast food restaurant to be allowed stay beyond its six-month trial stint.

The Oracle has already announced it does not plan to extend Chick Fil-A’s contract after pressure from group’s criticising the chain as anti-LGBT.

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According to US news website, Think Progress, in 2017, the Chick Fil-A Foundation donated $1.8 million to three groups with a record of anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

This included a donation of more than $1.6 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes bar employees from engaging in “homosexual acts”.

It prompted a huge backlash from residents calling for the restaurant to be closed.

Mr Awolola, standing as parliamentary candidate for the Christian Peoples Alliance in Reading East, called protests against the restaurant “an attack on anything Christian”.

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More than a hundred people have signed Mr Awolola’s petition, which calls for local people to “make a stand”.

Another petition calling for Chick Fil-A to stay, on Christian petition website CitizenGo, has received more than 40,000 signatures.

Mr Awolola said: “As a resident in Reading, I am excited that Chick-fil-a chose our town out of all the locations in the UK.

“Shouldn’t we be encouraging more businesses to open up in Reading?

“The Oracle management and the Labour Party in Reading are pandering to LGBT agenda.

“We all know this has nothing to do with the company but an attack on anything Christian.

“All the organisations mentioned in the protest outside the Oracle shopping centre are Christian organisations and they are all labelled as ‘having a reputation of being hostile to LGBT rights’.

“This outlet is the best thing in Reading for a while and it is paramount we encourage more businesses to move to and stay in reading.

“We cannot and will not let a minority with hidden agenda deprive us of what we need the most in Reading right now – more businesses.”

Mr Awolola is up against Matt Rodda (Labour), Craig Morley (Conservative), Imogen Shepherd -Dubey (Lib Dem), David McElroy (Green) and Mitchell Feierstein (Brexit) in the election on December 12.

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Reading Pride campaigners called for a boycott of Chick-Fil-A after the US company opened its first UK branch at The Oracle shopping centre in Reading on October 10.

More than 100 people turned up outside Chick-Fil-A on October 19 to protest the company.

The day before, Reading Pride said The Oracle had confirmed Chick-Fil-A will not trade beyond its six-month pilot period and the shopping centre “will review their selection process and ensure a more thorough check is in place.”

Reading Pride chair Paul Britt, responding to Mr Awolola's comments, said: "As residents of Reading, we are appalled that an organisation that supports such abhorrent treatment and persecution of LGBT+ people, in particular in Uganda, should be encouraged to set up in Reading.

"It appears that our standards are not shared with some in our great town.

"We believe it should be clear that this has nothing to do with being anti-Christian as suggested by MrAwolola, which we are not, due to our role as an equality and diversity champion.

"This is an attempt by the individual to garner coverage of a recent local news story which gained global coverage to attract attention to their campaign for the upcoming UK general election.

"We would invite Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A to reach out to us and the LGBT+ community and express their current position on their previous anti-LGBT+ comments.

"Reading Pride supports equality and diversity, and will continue to speak out against organisations who support or fund activities which are hostile to the LGBT+ community.”

A Chick Fil-A Inc. spokesperson said the company is “focused on food, service and hospitality, does not have a poltical or social agenda and is represented by more than 145,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs”.