Criticising Uganda’s new anti-gay law, the White House has reiterated its commitment to having the law repealed, calling it “abhorrent”, and “a step backwards”.

President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill in front of politicians and reporters on Monday at 1.54pm (10.54am GMT) at State House, his official residence in Entebbe.

It further criminalises homosexuality in the country, implementing life jail sentences for those convicted multiple times.

Jay Carney, White House spokesman said: “Instead of standing on the side of freedom, justice, and equal rights for its people, today, regrettably, Ugandan President Museveni took Uganda a step backward by signing into law legislation criminalizing homosexuality.”

A White House official last week suggested that US aid to Uganda could be suspended if Museveni signed the law.

“We will continue to urge the Ugandan government to repeal this abhorrent law and to advocate for the protection of the universal human rights of LGBT persons in Uganda and around the world,” Carney said.

Critics of the Anti-Homosexuality Act include Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Foreign Secretary William Hague, EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton and US President Barack Obama.

Members of the European Parliament have also called for an end to a political agreement with Uganda over its newly-introduced anti-gay law.