Sir Elton John’s invitation to Vladimir Putin raised in House of Lords
Members of the House of Lords have discussed Sir Elton John’s invitation to Vladimir Putin to discuss Russia’s anti-gay laws.
Sir Elton John – who has a large following in Russia – this week called for President Putin to meet with him to discuss his country’s ‘gay propaganda’ law and persecution of LGBT people – though he fell victim to a prank call.
As the Lords today held a debate today on global LGBT rights, amid a worsening situation for LGBT people across many parts of the world, peers discussed Sir Elton’s invitation – and did not seem too enthused.
Tory peer Lord Fowler, Margaret Thatcher’s former Health Minister, said: “I note that Elton John has suggested a meeting with Mr Putin.
“I pay tribute to the work of both Elton John and David Furnish but am not sure how far a meeting of that kind is going to take us in follow-up action.
“I would much prefer and advocate a meeting with David Cameron, not because the Prime Minister shares Mr Putin’s views but because he simply does not share those views, and it could start a process whereby the discrimination can be fought and defeated.
“Perhaps there could be a London conference, with the serious aim of beginning that process. The agenda for such a conference is set out extremely well by the Amnesty report that noble Lords will have received.”
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Lib Dem peer Lord Scriven also spoke about the singer, in a pun-tastic speech addressing Russia’s laws.
He said: “”I understand that Elton John wishes to have a meeting with President Putin. I have to say to Sir Elton that he needs to be very careful or else he will be subject to Russia’s laws. If he sings some of his titles, for example, one of which is, “All the Girls Love Alice”, he will be in conflict with its rules.
“If he says to President Putin, “Are You Ready for Love?”, again he could find himself in serious trouble.
“It is quite clear, though, to use another title of Elton John’s, that for President Putin, “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word”. He should be sorry about the culture that he has allowed, and we should be doing more to ensure that Russia lifts those issues.”
The peers can rest easy, however – President Putin insists he has no immediate plans to meet with the singer.