In his speech to Liberal Democrat Spring Conference, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has praised Britain’s LGBT rights record.

Mr Clegg told delegates: “I look at what’s happening in places like Russia, where the government is effectively criminalising homosexuality, and I love that Britain is a place where you can be gay and proud – and now you can get married too.”

Last year speaking about the Sochi Winter Olympics and Paralympics, Mr Clegg told PinkNews: “It is just totally out of order it is unacceptable in this day and age for any athlete to feel in any way intimidated or certainly to be discriminated against because of their sexuality.

“Those days should be long behind us now and for those countries and those governments and regimes who don’t see it that way I think they have to move with the times.”

Speaking more recently, Mr Clegg told LBC: “It’s just the most regressive law imaginable, it has a very chilling effect, intimidating effect, on many people in the lesbian, bisexual, gay community in Russia and elsewhere.

“It sends out an appalling signal. I am not in favour of sports boycotts; in fact I am a big fan of winter sports. I will be cheering our athletes as much as anyone else when watching the Sochi Games, now and in the coming days. But, you know, does that mean I am going to go there?

“No, I am not going to go there and I certainly wouldn’t want any Liberal Democrat minister to go there given the strength of feeling in my party and I feel this very strongly as well, that what Russia has done, on that legislation, is just plain wrong.”