Swindon's Literature Festival has been hit with boycott threats due to one of its guest bookings.

Event organiser Matt Holland hosted a launch event at the Central Library on Thursday to reveal the line-up of activities, Q&A discussions, and author talks which will be held at venues around the town from May 1 to 7.

On May 5 at the Swindon Arts Centre, broadcaster and House of Lords peer Claire Fox will discuss her book I Find That Offensive, which focuses on "the possible causes of what is fast becoming known as Generation Snowflake".

This has caused controversy on social media, WITH some festival followers pledging to boycott the entire festival in protest.

Victoria Fisher said: "The festival should not be endorsing a hard right extremist. I shall not attend."

Martin Newman added: "You have a fine record for booking progressive speakers so I’m extremely disappointed to see you’ve booked Claire Fox.

"I am quite happy to listen to differing views. However, some... are so abhorrent they should not be given a platform.

"Her right to pedal her vile views, my right not to finance it."

Other literature lovers see the booking as an opportunity for debate.

Diana Wagnall added: "If you don't want to listen to what she has to say, fair enough, but it would not be a very thought-provoking event if our own views were all we heard."

The rest of the lineup includes the Dawn Chorus, family-friendly fun in Lower Shaw Farm, poetry and writing workshops, and a finale full of song and dance,

There will be talks on books about travellers, free speech, nature, wonder, James Bond and The Beatles, cycling through South America, growing up as a socialist in Swindon in the 1980s, survivalist tips from Ray Mears, and comedian Rachel Parris on advice from strangers.

Matt Holland said: "The festival is a civilised way of exchanging ideas where people can be listened to, questioned, and challenged in a respectful way.

"For 30 years, we've had authors, activists, and former politicians of all persuasions, like Tony Benn and Baroness Thatcher.

"This presents an opportunity for people with differing views and from different backgrounds to listen carefully and talk, to understand and maybe even learn from one another.

"The boycott is really disappointing. I think people should come along, have a chat, and make their points in person.

"We are fortunate to be able to speak freely to one another here. Less war-war, more jaw-jaw."

Visit www.swindonfestivalofliterature.co.uk