Groups that support LGBTQ+ rights are outraged that councils in Lincolnshire have been depositing millions of tax-payer funds in Qatari banks.
Despite the fact that homosexuality remains illegal in Qatar, as well as rumours of unlawful deaths of migrant workers, the World Cup host’s state bank has received £120 million and £50 million from South Kesteven and East Lindsey District Councils respectively over the last five years.
The investigation by The Guardian found that a total of 30 councils across the country have been investing in Qatari banks.
Gill Thornton, an organiser for a group in Lincolnshire set up to support parents with LGBTQ+ children, and a constituent of South Kesteven says she feels “very disgusted” that the councils are investing money in Qatar.
“As a member of the LGBTQ community and a constituent of one of these councils I feel very deeply that we shouldn’t condone this behaviour.” said Mrs Thornton.
“I understand it’s their (Qatar’s) culture but it’s highly likely that these funds were a part of the schemes that may have killed those poor migrant workers too and I just think it’s unacceptable that this is where mine and other’s money is going who stand against these ideals” she explained.
Wesley Shelbourne, CEO of Just Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire’s single equality organisation, said he thinks the councils should not only apologise, but also do more for Lincolnshire’s LGBTQ+ citizens.
“Particularly considering the rurality of Lincolnshire and isolation experienced by many people they should absolutely do more to be inclusive” said Mr Shelbourne.
“I think all organisations and individuals could be more aware of what happens to their money, where it is invested, and the repercussions of that.” he added.
South Kesteven District Council commented saying: “SKDC currently has £13m invested in Qatar National Bank (QNB); these are investments that meet the criteria set out in the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy and are reported to our Governance and Audit Committee.
“The Council’s policy on where to invest is reviewed on a regular basis and we strive to ensure this is with ethical countries and companies.”
East Lindsey District Council refused to comment.