British Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to slash aid from African countries with poor records on gay rights.

The Prime Minister will tell struggling nations they will receive funding “fines” if persecution of homosexuals continues.

The government has already cut aid to Malawi by £19 million after two gay men were sentenced to 14 years hard labour. The southern African nation also plans to bring in tough anti-lesbian laws.

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell could also reduce aid to Uganda and Ghana unless they drop laws against homosexuality.

Uganda, which is due to receive £70 million in 2011, plans to punish homosexuality with the death penalty.

The president of Ghana, which gets £36 million a year, has promised to bring in measures to “check the menace of homosexuality and lesbianism”.

Just days ago, Cameron told the Conservative Party conference that it was right to legalise gay marriage.

Elton John and Madonna both joined the international outcry when the two gay men were imprisoned in Malawi for getting engaged. They were later freed, but the anti-lesbian laws are still likely to go ahead.

Malawi has received £200 million from Britain over the past three years. However, no mention has been made of cutting aid to Zimbabwe, which got £69 million last year. Gay people there still face persecution from security forces.

Three weeks ago, Mitchell protested to Uganda’s President Museveni, who had claimed “European homosexuals are recruiting in Africa”.

A spokesman for Mitchell said: “The government is committed to combating violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all circumstances, in this country and abroad. We take action where we have concerns.

“We only provide aid directly to governments when satisfied that they share our commitments to reduce poverty and respect human rights.”

It is not the first time the UK has withdrawn funding from Malawi. Labour reduced aid by £3 million after President Mutharika spent £8 million on a presidential jet. - Daily Mail