THE Sultan of Brunei has been stripped of a Scottish honour after introducing the death penalty for gay sex and adultery.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah received an honorary degree from Aberdeen University in 1995.

Today its principal Professor George Boyne said it had revoked the honour in response to new Islamic criminal laws which include death by stoning.

In a statement to staff and students, Boyne said the Sultan's introduction of the new penal code earlier this month is contrary to the institution's "strong commitment to the value of diversity and inclusion".

The decision follows a vote by the university's academic body. Boyne said: "The sultan was awarded an honorary degree by our university in 1995. It was given at a time when the university had operated a successful exchange programme with its counterpart in Brunei, and when the sultan had encouraged links between Brunei and Aberdeen due to his interest in our geology and petroleum engineering research.

"In light of recent developments, the university undertook a review of how this award now fits with our values.

"Today I can inform you that the honorary degree has been revoked following a vote by senate, our academic body, which approved a recommendation from our honorary degrees committee."

Boyne said the university's process includes an opportunity for the sultan to respond to the recommendation, and that his response was considered by the senate and the honorary degrees committee.

He added: "While it is deeply regrettable to be in this position, which is unprecedented for the University of Aberdeen, I fully support the decision.

"The University of Aberdeen is proud of our foundational purpose of being open to all and dedicated to the pursuit of truth in the service of others.

"The introduction by the sultan of the new penal code is contrary to our strong commitment to the value of diversity and inclusion."

Under the new laws, which apply to children and foreigners of any faith, those found guilty of gay sex could be stoned to death or whipped.

Adulterers risk death by stoning too, while thieves face amputation of a right hand on their first offence and a left foot on their second.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah instituted the code in 2014 to bolster the influence of Islam in the oil-rich monarchy of around 430,000 people, two-thirds of whom are Muslim.

Even before 2014, homosexuality was already punishable in Brunei by a jail term of up to 10 years.