An Edinburgh venue at the centre of a free speech row has defended its decision to cancel a comedy show involving Father Ted creator Graham Linehan.

Leith Arches claimed that not calling off the night would have had "a negative effect on future bookings."

They said the decision was influenced by "our regular community who use the space on a daily weekly and monthly basis."

Mr Linehan is considering legal action.

READ MORE: Leith Arches axe show featuring Graham Linehan

The writer was the "surprise famous cancelled comedian" at a night being promoted by Comedy Unleashed at the venue on Thursday.

However, on Tuesday, the venue took to Instagram to say that the event would now not be going ahead.

“We do not support this comedian or his views and he will not be allowed to perform at our venue and is cancelled from Thursday’s comedy show with immediate effect,” they said.

While they did not say what views they did not support, it’s almost certainly Mr Linehan’s campaigning on transgender and gender-critical issues.

The venue later deleted the original post, replacing it with one which made no mention of the writer’s views.

Earlier this year, the Stand Comedy Club found itself in legal difficulty after cancelling an in-conversation event with SNP MP Joanna Cherry.

The club said a number of "key operational staff, including venue management and box office personnel" were unwilling to work on the event because of “concerns about Ms Cherry's views.”

However, after the politician obtained legal opinion from leading human rights advocate, Aidan O’Neill KC, The Stand backed down and admitted that the cancellation constituted “unlawful discrimination” because the MP's views on gender were protected by legislation

Ms Cherry described the decision by Leith Arches as “more petulant cancellation.”

“Someone in a position of political or cultural leadership needs to call this out or Edinburgh, the home of the enlightenment, is in danger of becoming an unlawful discrimination and anti free speech hotspot,” she tweeted.

READ MORE: Kevin McKenna: Inside Joanna Cherry's face-off at The Stand

Speaking to TalkTV’s Julia Hartley-Brewer on Wednesday morning, Mr Linehan said: “It was cancelled within a couple of hours. So I had two hours of excitement and fans saying they were going to go.

“It was a sell-out. But you do get used to this kind of thing after a while.

“It never really makes you feel good.

“The only good thing about it is that it’s drawing more attention to the fact that, essentially, a group of highly ideological cultists have taken over institutions across society.

“If they apologise and put the gig on, I’ll say no more about it but otherwise I’ll be looking at legal action.”

However, shortly after, Leith Arches shared another post on social media defending the decision to cancel the show.

The venue said: “As you will be aware by now, this Thursday's Comedy Unleashed has been cancelled. It was brought to our attention at the very last minute of the very controversial line up.

“We work very closely with the LGBT+ community, it is a considerable part of our revenue, we believe hosting this one off show would have a negative effect on future bookings.

“This decision was not influenced by the pressure of online activists, but by our regular community who use the space on a daily weekly and monthly bisis.

“Sorry for any inconvenience caused.”

While the venue is hosting shows as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Comedy Unleashed show is not part of the programme.