A Brighton MP has presented the House of Commons with a petition signed by around 250 local residents calling on the government act against the reported targeting of gays and lesbians in Iraq.

David Lepper forwarded the document organised by The Pink News media partner 3SIXTY Magazine, to Commons Speaker Michael Martin.

It draws attention to allegations that the Badr death squads in Iraq are attacking and murdering gay people as part of a definite policy, as reported by campaign groups such as Outrage recently.

The MP for Brighton Pavilion said: “Earlier this year I raised with the Foreign Office the concerns of many constituents about reports that the coalition forces and the Iraqi government are ignoring requests to investigate this appalling killing campaign.

“Since then I have been contacted by Iraqis living in this country concerned about what is happening in their homeland.”

He will now seek a meeting between the Foreign Office and persecuted Iraqis.

The petition states that “Residents of Brighton and others, declares that the petitioners are gravely concerned about reports that Coalition Forces and the Iraqi authorities are failing to take action to investigate attacks on and killing of gay people in Iraq by the Badr Death Squads.

“The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons call upon HM Government to take a lead by doing all in its power to persuade the Coalition and Iraqi authorities to investigate these crimes and bring to justice those responsible.”