Shadow Foreign Office Minister: Government must do more to raise concerns over Uganda’s anti-gay law

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Labour’s Shadow Foreign Office Minister Kerry McCarthy has condemned Uganda’s anti-gay law, saying the Government must do more to voice its opposition to it during a visit by President Yoweri Museveni.

President Museveni arrived in London yesterday and has met with UK ministers, officials and corporate executives as part of a Pro-Ugandan business forum hosted by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

On Wednesday evening, he gave a speech at a venue in Buckingham Gate, Westminster.

A Ugandan law further criminalising same-sex sexual activity, allowing repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison, was given presidential approval by Yoweri Museveni in February.

Labour’s Shadow Foreign Office Minister, Kerry McCarthy MP said: The new anti-gay laws in Uganda are putting the lives and liberty of LGBT people at risk, as well as turning the clock back on efforts to tackle the AIDS epidemic there.

“The UK Government has rightly expressed grave concerns about this, but it must continue to raise these issues directly with the Ugandan Government.

“It is vital that Foreign Office Ministers now use the occasion of President Museveni’s visit to make clear that Britain condemns the mistreatment of LGBT people in Uganda, and press upon him the need to take urgent steps to repeal the relevant laws immediately.”

On signing the law, Mr Museveni defended it by saying that gay people give each other worms through sex.

He also described gay people as “disgusting”.

In April, Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire ruled out imposing a travel ban on Uganda’s politicians who support the country’s anti-gay legislation.

The World Bank, along with Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, all halted aid to the Ugandan Government as a result of the decision of President Museveni.

America threatened to reduce the amount of aid going to Ugandan organisations who have expressed support for the Anti-Homosexuality Act.

Last month, International Development Minister Alan Duncan rejected calls to cut foreign aid to countries with anti-gay laws.

The UK Government said that none of its aid goes directly to the Ugandan Government.