Statement from Mr Speaker regarding the Commonwealth Games

22 July 2014

The Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, in advance of the opening of the Commonwealth Games on 23 July, welcomed competitors from across the Commonwealth and wished the organisers a successful Games.

He commented:

'I would like to offer the warmest welcome to the athletes competing in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It is a fantastic sporting occasion, which I hope will be well supported, and it is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the spirit of the Commonwealth.’

Mr Bercow is a keen sports player and recently published a book about male tennis players. He is an enthusiast of football and tennis, is an Arsenal season ticket holder and was a junior tennis champion. He regards it as part of his role in representing the House of Commons to support British sports, whenever possible.

Commenting on the issue of LBGT rights, discrimination and the Commonwealth Games, John Bercow MP continued:

'Sadly, there might be world-class athletes who will not be able to compete in the Games, as they will have been discriminated against on the basis of their sexuality; shamefully, it is estimated that 4 out of every 5 countries in the Commonwealth criminalise homosexuality. Surely, it is time for the Commonwealth to do more to support lesbian, gay, transsexual and bisexual people, to ensure they are not discriminated against, no matter where they live?'

Further information

 Image: Glasgow 2014

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