Broadland District Council has been revealed as one of the authorities across the UK which has been depositing funds into accounts at Qatar National Bank.

A freedom of information request has revealed that since 2017 more than £80m has been deposited by the council into the lender.

Council minutes from a Broadland District Council cabinet meeting on February 9, 2021, confirm Qatar was among the list of approved countries for investment.

But the authority subsequently removed the country - which is hosting this year's Fifa World Cup - from its spending list a year later.

A spokesman for the council said: "Broadland District Council removed Qatar from its lending list at its meeting in February 2022."

City human rights groups have been left furious by the council's history of interacting with a nation where women live under male guardianship and migrant workers have died in their thousands.

Di Cunningham, founder of Norwich City supporters group Proud Canaries, said: "It’s depressing reading.

Di Cunningham of Proud Canaries (Image: Di Cunningham)

"I’m sure many people in Broadland would have wanted the council to disinvest at the earliest opportunity.

"This is a country which ranks as one of the worst in the world not only for human rights with its lack of democracy and oppression of women, migrant workers and LGBTQ people, but also for its massive carbon footprint.

"There surely must have been investments with a decent return that are both more ethical and closer to home?"

The district council has not responded when asked why Qatar was originally put on the list of lending countries.

Fran Whymark, a Conservative councillor and portfolio holder for Broadland District Council, said: "We do not want to be investing in places with such appalling records on so many levels. We removed countries like Qatar from our list.

"Qatar has been very intolerant in its attitude to gay people which, in a modern society, is just not OK."

Nick O'Brien, a founder member of Norwich Pride, said: "It's disturbing and all councils should have an ethical spending policy.

Nick O'Brien, a founder member of Norwich Pride (Image: Archant)

"I certainly do not want council money to go to Qatar but I am glad they have decided to change that now.

"Everyone has a part to play to take personal responsibility."

QOSHE - Fury as district council funnels more than £80m into Qatar's bank - Ben Hardy
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Fury as district council funnels more than £80m into Qatar's bank

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14.11.2022

Broadland District Council has been revealed as one of the authorities across the UK which has been depositing funds into accounts at Qatar National Bank.

A freedom of information request has revealed that since 2017 more than £80m has been deposited by the council into the lender.

Council minutes from a Broadland District Council cabinet meeting on February 9, 2021, confirm Qatar was among the list of approved countries for investment.

But the authority subsequently removed the country - which is hosting this year's Fifa World Cup - from its spending list a year later.........

© Norwich Evening News


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