UK Foreign Secretary William Hague says he’s “deeply saddened” by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s decision to sign anti-gay legislation.

It comes as Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said it was “an abhorrent backwards step for human rights”.

President 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.

In surreal remarks, the 69-year-old leader said gay sex meant you could “come back with worms” and that gay people were “heterosexual people” who act as “prostitutes because of money”.

President Museveni said he had received scientific “facts” before signing the bill, saying: “No study has shown you can be homosexual by nature.”

He said homosexuality in Uganda had been “provoked by the arrogant and careless Western groups that are coming in our schools and recruiting homosexuals into homosexuality and lesbianism”.

Earlier, EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton condemned the President of Uganda for signing the bill, describing the move as “draconian”.

Shortly after Baroness Ashton’s comments, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague released a statement saying: “I am deeply saddened and disappointed that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda has been signed into law.

“The UK strongly opposes all discrimination on any grounds.

“We question the bill’s compatibility with Uganda’s constitution and international treaty obligations.

“There can be no doubt that this bill will increase persecution and discrimination of Ugandans, as well as damage Uganda’s reputation internationally.”

Mr Hague added: “We ask the Government of Uganda to protect all its citizens and encourage tolerance, equality and respect. We will continue to press the Government of Uganda to defend human rights for all, without discrimination on any grounds.”

The law calls for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and makes it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.

Lesbians are covered by the bill for the first time.