International News

John Bercow MP welcomes athletes to Commonwealth Games

Besi Besemar July 22, 2014

The Speaker of the House of Commons highlights discrimination against LGBT athletes across the Commonwealth.

Rt Hon John Bercow MP
Rt Hon John Bercow MP

The Rt Hon John Bercow MP welcomed competitors from across the Commonwealth to the Games in Glasgow today in advance of the opening ceremony on Wednesday 23 July and wished the organisers a successful Games.

He said: “I would like to offer the warmest welcome to the athletes competing in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It is a fantastic sporting occasion, which I hope will be well supported, and a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the spirit of the Commonwealth.”

Mr Bercow, a keen sports player, recently published a book about male tennis players. He is a football and tennis enthusiast and an Arsenal season ticket holder and was a junior tennis champion.

He regards it as part of his role in representing the House of Commons to support British sports whenever possible.

Commenting on the issue of LBGT rights, discrimination and the Commonwealth Games, John Bercow MP said:¬†“Sadly, there might be world-class athletes who will not be able to compete in the Games as they will have been discriminated against on the basis of their sexuality; shamefully, it is estimated that 4 out of every 5 countries in the Commonwealth criminalise homosexuality. Surely it is time for the Commonwealth to do more to support lesbian, gay, transsexual and bisexual people, to ensure they are not discriminated against, no matter where they live.”