In response to the shocking anti-LGBT+ legislation passed by Brunei, which punishes homosexuality with stoning, I have called for the Government to take urgent action.

I have specifically written to the Foreign Secretary, alongside my colleague Emily Thornberry MP, calling for the immediate suspension of Brunei from the Commonwealth.

Strong action must be taken by Theresa May who is also currently the Chair of the Commonwealth.

Brunei letter
Brunei letter

Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP

As you know, there is considerable public concern and anger at home and abroad, which is shared across Parliament, about the proposed imposition by the Sultan of Brunei of hudud corporal and capital punishments, including the idea that LGBT+ individuals should be stoned to death or whipped.

These abhorrent, barbaric proposals have no place in our world, let alone in the 21st century, and certainly not in a country that belongs to the Commonwealth, whose members are sworn under the terms of its Charter and the Harare Declaration to uphold equal rights for all citizens, and defend the principles of human dignity and equality.

As the current Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, Prime Minister Theresa May must take a leading role in condemning these laws and calling for strong action to be taken. Our colleagues Fabian Hamilton and Khalid Mahmood have twice asked Foreign Office ministers this week in Parliament to demand immediate action through the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to suspend Brunei from the Commonwealth as a matter of urgency unless it immediately reverses these proposed laws.

Whatever other action the international community, and Britain itself, can and should take to protest against Brunei’s actions and persuade them to change course, it is vital for the Commonwealth to take the first step, and make clear that it is not acceptable for a member of that organisation to enjoy that status while embracing this evil.

And let that also be the first step on the long overdue journey to ensure that every Commonwealth country removes the scourge of LGBT+ discrimination from its statute books and its society. We are copying this letter to the Rt Hon Baroness Scotland QC.

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