LGBT Rights: Brunei

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:27 pm on 10th April 2019.

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Photo of Thangam Debbonaire Thangam Debbonaire Opposition Whip (Commons) 5:27 pm, 10th April 2019

I thank all right hon. and hon. Members who have taken part in the debate verbally or by being present in support. I also thank the Front-Bench spokespeople and the Minister, who responded to some of my points, for which I am grateful, although he should expect a strongly worded letter from me. I would like to know more about what happens when he and his colleague meet ministerial colleagues from Brunei tomorrow. I will also write to him with a list of everything that was raised in the debate to ask if he could respond, because I understand that that is not always possible in so short a debate.

The Minister mentioned friendship. If a friend of mine suddenly decided that it was okay to torture gay people, I would have to talk to them about the nature of friendship, whether they valued my friendship and what price that friendship had for them. I would like the Minister to take that sentiment away. I understand friendship, but we have to be more than just a critical friend who expresses concern; we need to move beyond expressions of concern and outrage to actual action. I want him to understand the strong feeling in the Chamber and beyond the House, and that I speak for an awful lot of people when I say that we do not just want expressions of concern or warm words, welcome though they may be. We want action.

I urge the Minister to take that metaphor of friendship away with him and to think about what he would do if a friend of his was threatening to stone gay people. He would want to know that his friendship mattered more, and he would want to use that friendship as a position of influence. I thank all hon. Members for participating.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House
has considered LGBT rights in Brunei.

Sitting adjourned.