Labour Councillors have called for citizens to boycott The Dorchester, a luxury hotel on Park Lane in Mayfair.
The hotel is de facto owned by the Sultan of Brunei, who this week introduced punitive laws for LGBT+ people in the Kingdom of Brunei including death by stoning.
In 2013 the Sultan of Brunei made it clear he intended to pass these draconian laws, but it is only this week that these regressive laws have been introduced. The penalties include being whipped to death as well as capital punishment for people found committing adultery.
Calls to boycott the hotel are gaining traction after Hollywood and UK celebrities – including Ellen Degeneres, George Clooney and Elton John – urged Londoners and tourists alike to boycott the hotel.
The Dorchester is part of a chain of nine hotels – the Dorchester Collection – which is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, the country’s sovereign wealth fund.
When asked to comment about the campaign, The Dorchester has to date refused to respond.
Pancho Lewis, a councillor for West End Ward – a ward that includes The Dorchester – said:
“It is an absolute disgrace that Brunei has passed these laws. This is the 21st century not medieval times. We need to stand up to this authoritarian, regressive regime, and that’s why I’d urge everyone to boycott the hotel.
“I’m also calling on TfL to rename the bus stop on the south end of Park Lane so it no longer refers to ‘The Dorchester’ – we shouldn’t be advertising the hotel through public transport whilst the Sultan of Brunei refuses to respect fundamental human rights.”
Patrick Lilley, an LGBT activist who stood in last year’s local elections, said:
“On Saturday from 2-4pm, LGBT Labour and our allies in the struggle against homophobia will be demonstrating outside The Dorchester – we want to send a strong message that this is unacceptable in the modern world. We urge the Government to take a strong stance and we desperately need an international response too.”