Police Federation joins backlash against anti-gay laws in Brunei

Police Federation joins George Clooney and Sir Elton John in backlash against anti-gay laws in Brunei by moving annual bravery awards away from sultan-owned Dorchester hotel

  • Police Federation has joined backlash against Brunei’s draconian anti-gay laws 
  • Organisation moving its annual bravery awards away from the Dorchester hotel
  • Chairman of the PFEW said on Twitter that, ‘doing nothing was not an option’
  • He said his values and policing, ‘does not allow us to be associated with regime’

The Police Federation has today joined the backlash against Brunei’s draconian anti-gay laws by cancelling its bravery awards at the Dorchester hotel.

From today, the nation has brought in a new penal code based on strict Islamic Sharia law which means homosexual acts, adultery and abortion are to be punished by death by stoning.

Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales John Apter has now announced the organisation will be boycotting the London hotel – which is among the portfolio of assets held by the Brunei Investment Agency.

Mr Apter said on Twitter that ‘doing nothing was not an option’, adding: ‘My values, the PFEW and policing as a whole would not allow us to be associated with such a regime.’ 

The Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) owns a number of of the world’s most exclusive hotels, including London’s the Dorchester

Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales John Apter has now announced the organisation will be boycotting the London hotel


George Clooney (left), Sir Elton John (right) and the American comedienne Ellen DeGeneres are among celebrities who announced they would no longer stay at any of the hotels in the Sultan’s portfolio

The Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), through the Dorchester Collection, owns a number of of the world’s most exclusive hotels, including London’s the Dorchester and 45 Park Lane as well as Coworth Park in Berkshire.

The Sultan of Brunei sparked outrage around the world with the draconian new laws

Also in its portfolio are two of Hollywood’s best-known establishments, the Bel-Air and the Beverly Hills.

George Clooney, Sir Elton John and the American comedienne Ellen DeGeneres are among celebrities who announced they would no longer stay at any of the hotels in the Sultan’s collection. 

From today, the capital penalty will also be imposed for blasphemy or heresy against Islam. 

Those caught engaging in lesbian sex will be punished by forty lashes, while thieves are to suffer their right hands being chopped off. Repeat offenders will then lose a foot. 

Mr Apter said: ‘I can confirm that following recent events we have made the decision to move the @PFEW-HQ Bravery Awards away from the #Dorchester Hotel. My values, the PFEW and policing as a whole would not allow us to be associated with such a regime.’ 

In a second tweet he went on: ‘This decision does not reflect on the staff at the Dorchester Hotel however, doing nothing was not an option. An alternative venue has been identified and I will make sure the Bravery Awards are as special as they have always been. This is the right decision.’     

Last Saturday, protesters broke through a barricade outside the Dorchester Hotel to rally against the Sultan of Brunei and his new LGBT laws.

Around 500 people turned out to take part in the protest in Park Lane, central London, after the Sultan announced the change in law last week.  

The gathering, led by human rights activist Peter Tatchell, saw many of the protesters carrying placards and banners calling for homophobia to be stamped out, as well as rainbow flags. 

The Police Federation represents more than 119,000 officers in England and Wales up to the rank of chief inspector. Its annual bravery awards will be held in July. 

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