Former Tory Chairman: Stonewall’s refusal to boycott Dorchester ‘doesn’t make sense’

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Lord Deben, who served as Conservative Party Chairman and Agriculture minister under Margaret Thatcher, has criticised Stonewall’s decision not to boycott a hotel chain owned by the Brunei Government.

Last month, the Sultan of Brunei gave approval to Brunei’s new penal code, which urges death by stoning for same-sex sexual activity.

On Friday, Ruth Hunt, acting chief executive of gay rights charity Stonewall said the campaign against The Dorchester Collection will only harm Brunei’s LGBT community.

The Dorchester on Park Lane in London is part of the collection.

Yesterday, the British Society of Magazine Editors (BSME) announced it will not stage its awards dinner at The Dorchester Hotel.

Lord Deben, better known as John Gummer before his 2010 peerage, praised the decision.

He told “Well done Magazine editors. I think no decent organisation should use a hotel owned by someone who stones women accused of adultery and gay people purely because of their sexuality. I think that everyone should boycott The Dorchester Collection.”

Gay rights charity Stonewall held its annual Equality Dinner at The Dorchester on Park Lane in April.

The charity is under increasing pressure to sever its links with the company and join an international boycott of The Dorchester Collection.

A separate Stonewall event was held a day after the country made death by stoning the punishment for same-sex sexual activity.

However, writing for on Friday, Stonewall Acting Chief Executive Ruth Hunt said a boycott would be the wrong thing to do.

“We only implement actions that we can calculate will have an impact”.

She added: “The boycott could do very real harm to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people of Brunei.”

In response, Lord Deben tweeted his dismay at Ms Hunt’s position.