Richard Branson and Virgin boycott Brunei-owned hotels over 'stone of gays'

richard branson boycotts dorchester collection brunei-owned hotels

Virgin boss Richard Branson has announced the boycott of Brunei-owned hotel chain Dorchester Collection over the country's anti-gay law stoning homosexuals to death.

Sir Richard tweeted: "No @Virgin employee, nor our family, will stay at Dorchester Hotels until the Sultan abides by basic human rights".

The news comes after actor and comedian Stephen Fry boycotted the luxury hotel brand earlier this week.

Fry tweeted: "Cancelled in nick of time: discovered @CoworthParkUK that I was booked into is part of the 'Dorchester Collection'".

The new law was postponed on Tuesday "due to unavoidable circumstances", but PinkNews reports that despite the delays, the Sultan of Brunei confirmed it would be phased in over a two-year period from 1 May and would apply to Muslims and non-Muslims.

According to AFP, on Wednesday he said: "Today, I place my faith in and am grateful to Allah the almighty to announce that tomorrow, Thursday 1 May 2014, will see the enforcement of Sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases."

Other celebrities who are urging the boycott of the Dorchester Collection include Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Osbourne.

According to WWD, a Dorchester Collection spokeswoman said: "We are aware that many variations of Sharia law are practiced in many countries throughout the world and these countries have diverse business interests including fashion, hospitality and travel groups, media, entertainment, banking and many other sectors. We are sensitive to the fact that any such potential withdrawal of business directly impacts our employees, who represent the full diversity of society. Our loyal and dedicated employees have no involvement in this religious and political issue."

She added: "We continue to abide by the laws of the countries we operate in and do not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind. The laws that exist in other countries outside of where Dorchester Collection operates do not affect the policies that govern how we run our hotels. Dorchester Collection's code, endorsed by the company's ownership, emphasizes equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees."

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