Peter Tatchell: Kate Middleton’s decision to visit The Dorchester is ‘hugely disappointing’ for gay rights

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has blasted the Duchess of Cambridge for visiting a hotel owned by the Sultan of Brunei.

In April, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah gave approval to Brunei’s revised penal code, which urges death by stoning for same-sex sexual activity.

Kate Middleton was a guest at a wedding held at The Dorchester, on Park Lane, London, last Friday.

The hotel, part of The Dorchester Collection, is facing a continued boycott by several celebrities because of its Brunei ownership.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “It is hugely disappointing that the ​​Duchess is still going to The Dorchester while so many other public figures are boycotting it.

“She’s sending the wrong signal. The Sultan will take comfort in the fact that Kate continues to give her de facto stamp of royal approval to his hotel and is not supporting the boycott.

​He’ll also be pleased that the royal princes, William and Harry, played polo at another of his luxury hotels, Coworth Park, near Ascot. ​

“Many ​supporters of gay rights and human rights ​w​ill​ feel let down. ​

“The royals could have taken a stand but ​they ​declined to do so.”

Last month, the Chief Executive of the hotel group, Christopher Cowdray, stated his company’s commitment to equality and called on the boycott to end.

A string of celebrities, including Ellen DegeneresStephen Fry, Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson and Sharon Osbourne in April began a boycott campaign against The Dorchester Collection, famous for its Beverly Hills venue.

In the UK, the British Society of Magazine Editors (BSME) announced it will not stage its awards dinner at The Dorchester in London.

Gay rights charity Stonewall held its annual Equality Dinner there in April.

Last month, the charity attracted criticism for criticising the nature of the boycott, whilst failing to say if it would hold future events at the hotel.

Stonewall’s Acting Chief Executive Ruth Hunt confirmed three days later that it would no longer use The Dorchester Hotel for events.

Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Deben has called on all organisations to shun using the hotel.

US Vogue Editor Anna Wintour became the latest celebrity to join the campaign last week.

Meanwhile, Kings College London is under pressure to strip an honour given to the Sultan of Brunei.

The Sultan, whose family has governed Brunei for 600 years and whose fortune is estimated at $13 billion (£7.75 billion), also received an honorary knighthood from the Queen in 1992 and has been awarded a string of honours by British universities.