World Cup in Russia: Labour MP says Robbie Williams should donate fee to LGBT charities
Labour MP Chris Bryant says he’s “disappointed” Robbie Williams performed at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Russia, suggesting he should donate his fee to LGBT charities in the country.
The MP for Rhondda hit out at the singer on Twitter before he took to the stage in the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, on Thursday.
Bryant wrote: “I must say I’m disappointed Robbie Williams is performing at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Russia. Maybe he could donate his fee to LGBT charities in Russia.”
Asked why he was disappointed by another Twitter user, the politician responded: “Because Putin’s Russia has tried to kill people in Britain, brought down the MH17, bans gay pride, tortures homosexuals and illegally annexed Crimea.”
Williams performed four hits at the opening ceremony on Thursday afternoon, including “Let Me Entertain You” and “Angels.”
Former Brazilian striker Ronaldo also made an appearance at the ceremony.
Patrick Strudwick, LGBT editor at BuzzFeed, also condemned Williams’ appearance in Moscow.
“Robbie, as you sing on stage, endorsing Russia, which criminalises LGBT people, you are no friend of ours,” he wrote on Twitter. “You’re just a bit thick.”
Williams previously posed as the cover star for a 2016 edition of Attitude, saying that he once thought he was gay, and that he has crushes on, but he “just can’t do the cock.”
The singer’s set came just before Russia opened the World Cup, with a game against Saudi Arabia.
LGBT rights campaigners have voiced widespread concern over the safety of queer fans at the tournament.
On Thursday afternoon, human rights activist Peter Tatchell was detained in a police station in Moscow, before later being released on bail.
He had been standing beside a statue of Marshal Zhukov, near the Kremlin, holding a placard that read: “Putin fails to act against Chechnya torture of gay people.”
A statement on Tatchell’s Twitter account reads: “Peter Tatchell has been released. I’ve spoken to the Consulate Gen. who says he has been bailed & treated well.
“Thank you for the all the good wishes. Let’s remember the awful plight of LGBTs in Russian & Chechnya.”
Earlier on Thursday, PinkNews reported on a gay football fan, who was viciously attacked in St Petersburg.
On Wednesday, a leading Russian campaigner, Anton Krasovsky, warned that gay fans are “not safe” at the World Cup.
The UK government has already warned LGBT football fans heading to the Word Cup to hide their sexuality in public.