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Labour urges action over new Brunei anti-LGBT laws

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p075qtpf - Labour urges action over new Brunei anti-LGBT laws

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Media captionProtesters outside the Dorchester in London called for the British royal family to cut ties with the Sultan

Brunei should be “chucked out” of the Commonwealth if it does not revoke its anti-LGBT laws, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has said.

The South-East Asian nation introduced strict Islamic laws this week that make gay sex punishable by stoning to death.

Dozens of protesters chanted “shame on you” outside the Brunei-owned Dorchester hotel in London on Saturday.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he had expressed “deep UK opposition” to the new laws to Brunei’s government.

Addressing the crowd outside the Dorchester, Ms Thornberry said actions should have consequences and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei should be shunned until the law is revoked.

She added: “Any hatred against anyone is hatred against all of us.

“Our fight is with the sultan of Brunei. Our fight is with this terrible law. We say no.”

‘Tyrannical regime’

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who organised the demonstration, said: “There can be no normal business relations with an abnormal tyrannical regime like that of Brunei.

“What the sultan has done has introduced punishments the same as Isis implemented in Iraq and Syria during it’s so-called caliphate, including brutal stoning to death of people convicted of homosexuality, adultery and insulting the prophet Mohammed.”

He described the “close” relationship between the Queen and the sultan’s as “quite wrong”, saying she should not “collude and consort with dictators like the sultan”.

On Saturday, the University of Oxford joined the University of Aberdeen and Kings College London in saying it would reconsider its decision to award an honorary degree to the sultan of Brunei.

Mr Hunt said on Thursday he had spoken to Brunei Foreign Minister Dato Erywan “to express deep UK opposition, shared by many, to the introduction of Sharia law”.

“We understand countries are responsible for their rules but we will always speak out to defend our values, including the freedom to be who you are and love without fear.”

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