UK & World News
Sochi Olympics Boycott Call Rejected By PM
David Cameron has ruled out a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Russia, insisting attending is a better way to tackle anti-gay prejudice.
The Prime Minister spoke out following calls for the Games in 2014 to be moved because of Russia's anti-gay laws.
David Cameron said he had shared the "deep concern" about the abuse of gay people in the country.
But writing on Twitter, the Prime Minister said: "I believe we can better challenge prejudice as we attend, rather than boycotting the Winter Olympics."
A growing number of people, one of whom is the broadcaster Stephen Fry, have called for a boycott of the Sochi Winter Olympics because of Russia's stance on homosexuality.
Mr Putin signed a new bill into law in June banning "homosexual propaganda".
This makes it illegal to give anyone under 18 information about homosexuality.
Anyone deemed to be promoting gay rights or "non-traditional relationships" to young people could now be arrested and fined, or in the case of foreigners, detained and deported.
Critics say the law is intentionally vaguely-worded and part of a broader crackdown on gay rights.
The country's sports minister has said the law will apply to athletes and spectators at the Games.
Fry told Sky News that, despite his original request, he accepted that the Winter Olympics could not be moved but he had made the call because he wanted to draw attention to the plight of gay people in Russia.
He said he had met a lesbian couple with children who ran the risk of being arrested because they could be viewed as promoting homosexuality to their offspring.
He said a suitable compromise could be for podium place-winning athletes who opposed Russia's laws to make a gesture of crossing their arms across their sternums.
When asked whether it was right to compare Mr Putin to a Nazi, as some had been doing, Fry said if he was not actually a Nazi, he was a fascist, as he was attempting to wield absolute power.
Earlier, London 2012 Olympic Chief Lord Coe had also commented on the proposed boycott saying he disapproved. Coe was one of the UK team which went to the Moscow Olympics in 1980 when it was boycotted by the US.
He said: "(Boycotts) do not achieve what they set out to do. International sport is not an inhibitor of social change; it actually has a strong catalytic effect. It's an issue that needs to be addressed but its not an issue for a boycott."