Labour MEP for the West Midlands, Michael Cashman stunned the European Parliament today by publicly cutting up his Visa card in protest at the company’s sponsorship of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Mr Cashman, who was a co-founder of Stonewall and a star of British soap opera EastEnders, has previously said that “hate speech” from Russian President Putin and others has resulted in the “barbaric killing of gay men”.

Companies including Visa and Coca-Cola have been criticised by gay rights campaigners for not condemning Russia’s record on gay rights. Olympics sponsor AT&T today condemned the policies of the Russian government.