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Police move bravery awards from Brunei-owned Dorchester Hotel over anti-LGBT laws

Protests have taken place outside the Dorchester since the new draconian laws were introduced. Credit: PA

The Police Federation has moved its annual bravery awards ceremony from the Dorchester Hotel over Brunei's new anti-LGBT laws.

Last week, Brunei's leader, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, announced a new draconian penal code, which included punishing homosexuality with death by stoning.

The move has sparked outrage worldwide and calls for a boycott of hotels owned by the country.

The Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), through the Dorchester Collection, owns London’s the Dorchester and 45 Park Lane as well as Coworth Park in Berkshire.

Also in its portfolio of hotels, among the world’s most exclusive, are two of Hollywood’s best-known establishments, the Bel-Air and the Beverly Hills.

Demonstrations have taken place outside the hotels over the past week.

In a statement on Twitter, The Police Federation said: "In light of recent events, we have decided not to host our annual Police Bravery Awards at The Dorchester Hotel and will be seeking an alternative venue.

"We cannot in all conscience support a regime which is so fundamentally opposed to the values of respect, diversity and equality we hold so highly within our organisation and policing as a whole.

"And although the decision is no reflection on the staff of the hotel itself who have always done their utmost to ensure that the event is a success, we feel it is the right one."

The chairman of the Police Federation said the values of the federation "would not allow us to be associated with such a regime".

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Home Secretary Sajid Javid attended the awards last year, which are held to celebrate the bravery and accolades of officers on or off duty.

There were 80 nominees from 40 forces last year. PC Keith Palmer, who was tragically killed during the Westminster terror attack, was posthumously given an award for his bravery.

In response to Brunei's new law, The Dorchester Collection said it does not "tolerate any form of discrimination".

Its statement read: "Dorchester Collection's code emphasises equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees.

"Inclusion and diversity remain core beliefs as we do not tolerate any form of discrimination."

Among those calling for a boycott of the hotels include George Clooney, Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres.

Sir Richard Branson described the laws as "medieval" and tweeted: "New laws in Brunei will punish adultery and gay sex with death by stoning.

"This abhorrent, inhuman and medieval piece of legislation has no place in the 21st century."

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The Police Federation represents more than 119,000 officers in England and Wales up to the rank of chief inspector.

Its annual bravery awards are held to celebrate extraordinary feats of courage and were due to take place on July 18. A new venue has yet to be announced.