Hungary has pulled out of the Eurovision song contest amid speculation the competition is “too gay” for the country’s far-right government.

Although no official reason has been given for the withdrawal, a source inside Hungary’s public broadcaster reportedly said they assumed hostility to the contest’s LGBT+ links were behind the decision.

One pro-government commentator described Eurovision as a “homosexual flotilla” and said the country’s mental health would be better if it did not join the competition.

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A source inside MTVA, the Hungarian public broadcaster which typically hosts its own song contest where the winner goes on to represent the country at Eurovision, : “I was not surprised. It comes from the organisational culture of MTVA.”

Positive coverage of LGBT+ rights in the media was discouraged, they told the paper.

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World news in pictures

Shape Created with Sketch.
World news in pictures

1/50 28 November 2019

Pro-democracy protesters hold an SOS sign and US national flags during a Thanksgiving rally in Edinburgh Place, Hong Kong. Protesters were thanking US President Donald Trump for signing into a law ‘The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act Hong Kong’, provoking an angry backlash from the Chinese government. Hong Kong is in its sixth month of mass protests, which were originally triggered by a now withdrawn extradition bill, and have since turned into a wider pro-democracy movement

2/50 27 November 2019

Rescuers with a dog search through the rubble of a collapsed building after an earthquake in Durres, western Albania

3/50 26 November 2019

A shepherd leads a flock of sheep on a pontoon bridge in Allahabad

4/50 25 November 2019

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects a female company belonging to 5492 troops

5/50 24 November 2019

A protester jumps between burning tires during ongoing anti-government protests in Basra, Iraq

6/50 23 November 2019

Fans dressed as Star Wars characters during day three of the first Test between Australia and Pakistan at The Gabba in Australia

7/50 22 November 2019

Pope Francis speaks with religious leaders during a meeting at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand

8/50 21 November 2019

A girl injured in last night’s attack by the Syrian regime on a camp for displaced people near the Turkish border in Idlib, Syria is held up to the camera

9/50 20 November 2019

Indian paramilitary soldiers detain a Congress party supporter during a protest against the withdrawal of Special Protection Group (SPG) cover to party president Sonia Gandhi, her children and former prime minister Manmohan Singh, in New Delh. The move to lift off the SPG security, an elite force that protects prime ministers and their immediate families, led to sharp reactions from the Congress, which accused the government of personal vendetta

10/50 19 November 2019

An image taken from a plane window shows Sydney shrouded in smoke from nearby bush fires

11/50 18 November 2019

Protesters run for cover after riot police fired tear gas towards the bridge they were climbing down to the road below, to escape from Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Dozens escaped the besieged campus by lowering themselves on a rope from a footbridge to a highway. Once on the road they were seen being picked up by waiting motorcyclists

12/50 17 November 2019

Anti-government protesters draped in Iraqi national flags walk into clouds of smoke from burning tires during a demonstration in the southern city of Basra, Iraq

13/50 16 November 2019

A protester wearing a yellow jacket waves a French flag in a fountain during a demonstration to mark the first anniversary of the “yellow vests” movement in Nice, France

14/50 15 November 2019

A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to return a tear gas canister fired by Israeli forces amid clashes following a weekly demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kfar Qaddum

15/50 14 November 2019

A patient suffering from dengue fever receives medical treatment at an isolation ward at a hospital in Larkana, Pakistan. According to local reports, 26 deaths have been reported out of a total of 10,013 confirmed cases of dengue infection. Dengue fever is reportedly caused by a specific type of mosquito, the Aedes mosquito, that bites only during daytime, especially during sunrise and sunset.

16/50 13 November 2019

An anti-government protester flashes the V-sign for victory in front of burning tyres used to block a main road at the entrance of Tripoli. The previous night, street protests erupted across Lebanon after President Michel Aoun defended the role of his allies, the Shiite movement Hezbollah, in Lebanon’s government, cutting off several major roads. In his televised address, Aoun proposed a government that includes both technocrats and politicians

17/50 12 November 2019

An Israeli missile launching from the Iron Dome defence missile system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells. They were sent up to intercept rockets launched from the nearby Palestinian Gaza Strip. Israel’s military killed a commander for Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad in a strike on his home, prompting retaliatory rocket fire and fears of a severe escalation in violence

18/50 11 November 2019

A species of deer thought to be extinct, the chevrotain, has been spotted for the first time in 30 years in the wilds of Vietnam. The deer is around the size of a domestic cat

19/50 10 November 2019

The royal motorcade of Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, under tight security, passes through a street in Tokyo. Thousands of people gathered for the rare open-top car parade featuring the newly enthroned Emperor

20/50 9 November 2019

People knock over a mock-up of the former Berlin Wall during a performance prior to the German first division Bundesliga football match Hertha BSC Berlin v RB Leipzig on the 30 anniversary of the fall off the wall

21/50 8 November 2019

Flames from an out of control bushfire from a nearby residential area in Harrington, northeast of Sydney. Australian firefighters warned they were in “uncharted territory” as they struggled to contain dozens of out-of-control bushfires across the east of the country

22/50 7 November 2019

Demonstrators shine lasers during a protest against Chile’s government in Santiago, the capital

23/50 6 November 2019

Activists from India’s main opposition Congress party shout slogans as they are stopped by police during a protest against what the activists say is economic slowdown in the country, in Guwahati, India

24/50 5 November 2019

Smoke rises from a fire in downtown Lagos, Nigeria. Firefighters worked hard to try and extinguish a fire at the Balogun market. Thick black smoke and flames shot from the five-story buildings as fire trucks attempted to get access

25/50 4 November 2019

Women run down a sand dune as they take part in the desert trek “Rose Trip Maroc” in the erg Chebbi near Merzouga. It is a female-oriented trek where teams of three must travel through the southern Moroccan Sahara desert with a compass, a map and a topographical reporter

26/50 3 November 2019

Riot police descend an escalator inside the City Plaza mall in Hong Kong after a bloody knife fight wounded six people there. A local pro-democracy politician had his ear bitten off during another chaotic day of political unrest in the city

27/50 2 November 2019

People participate in the celebration of the ‘muerteadas de Jalapa del Valle’, as part of the Day of the Dead in Mexico

28/50 1 November 2019

Firefighters work to control flames from a backfire during the Maria fire in Santa Paula, California

29/50 31 October 2019

Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, over the Vestrahorn mountain in the east of Iceland

30/50 30 October 2019

A model presents a creation at the show Heaven Gaia by Xiong Ying during the China Fashion Week in Beijing. The fashion event runs from 25 October to 2 November

31/50 29 October 2019

Hindu devotees collect rice as offerings on ‘Annakut’ or ‘Govardhan Puja’ festival at the Madan Mohan temple in Kolkata. People in large numbers gather at the temple to collect the rice offerings in the belief that it will keep them in good health and they’ll never face poverty or scarcity of food

32/50 28 October 2019

Authorities investigate after a Port Authority bus was caught in a sinkhole in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

33/50 27 October 2019

South Africa players celebrate after beating Wales in their Rugby World Cup semi-final match. The Springboks will face England in next Saturday’s final following fly-half Handre Pollard’s match-winning penalty four minutes from time. The match ended 19-16

34/50 26 October 2019

Participants from Thailand pose in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall as they take part in the annual gay pride parade in Taipei. Some two hundred thousand revellers marched through Taipei in a riot of rainbow colours and celebration as Taiwan held its first pride parade since making history in Asia by legalising gay marriage

35/50 25 October 2019

A girl enjoys a ball bath as she is being photographed at the made-for-Instagram museum ‘Cali Dreams’ in Dusseldorf, Germany. No artworks are shown in this museum, rather each visitor himself becomes an artwork by staging himself in front of one of the 25 sceneries. Cali Dreams is initially open for three months. After this test phase, however, the museum is planned as a long-term project

36/50 24 October 2019

A fire lorry speeds towards a rampant wildfire near Geyserville, California

37/50 23 October 2019

Protesters facing Lebanese army soldiers wave national flags in the area of Jal al-Dib in the northern outskirts of Beirut. A week of unprecedented street protests against the political class showed no signs of abating, despite the army moving to reopen key roads. Protests were sparked on October 17 by a proposed tax on WhatsApp and other messaging apps

38/50 22 October 2019

Liberal leader and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves to supporters beside his wife Sophie after the federal election at the Palais des Congres in Montreal. He managed to hold on to power, albeit of a minority government, in one of the most divisive elections in the country’s history

39/50 21 October 2019

A convoy of US vehicles is seen after withdrawing from northern Syria, on the outskirts of Dohuk, Iraq

40/50 20 October 2019

Japan players go over to thank their fans after South Africa beat them in the quarter-final of the Rugby World Cup. Makazole Mapimpi double ended the hosts’ dreams in Tokyo 3-26. The Springboks will now face Wales in the semi-finals for a place in the final

41/50 19 October 2019

Archaeologists remove the cover of an ancient painted coffin discovered at Al-Asasif Necropolis in the Vally of Kings in Luxor, Egypt

42/50 18 October 2019

A protester throws a tire on a fire to block the highway north of Beirut, Lebanon. Protesters, mainly civil activists, started demonstrating in the downtown area on 17 October, condemning proposed taxes in the 2020 budget. An unexpected addition to impose a daily fee for using WhatsApp calls caused outrage. However, according to the Telecommunications Minister Mohamed Choucair, the charge will not make it through the government palace after the impact it has made on the streets

43/50 17 October 2019

Children watch as army tanks are transported on trucks in the outskirts of the town of Akcakale, in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, at the border of Syria

44/50 16 October 2019

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un riding a white horse amongst the first snow at Mouth Paektu

45/50 15 October 2019

Protesters create a burning barricade after the Supreme Court in Madrid handed lengthy prison sentences to nine of the detained Catalonian leaders for up to 13 years each

46/50 14 October 2019

Protestors light their torches during a peaceful rally in central Hong Kong’s business district. The protests that started in June over a now-shelved extradition bill have since snowballed into an anti-China campaign amid anger over what many view as Beijing’s interference in Hong Kong’s autonomy that was granted when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997

47/50 13 October 2019

Japan players celebrate victory after beating Scotland 28-21 to reach the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup for the first ever time. The hosts head coach Jamie Joseph paid tribute to those who lost their lives in Typhoon Hagibis

48/50 12 October 2019

Surging waves generated by typhoon Hagibis hit the seashore in Mihama, Mie Prefecture, Japan. Hagibis is the strongest storm to hit in six decades and battered the country’s main island with torrential rain and violent winds
Firefighters battle the Saddleridge fire in Sylmar, California

50/50 10 October 2019

People run to take cover after mortars fired from Syria, in Akcakale, Turkey. An Associated Press journalist said at least two government buildings were hit by the mortars in Sanliurfa province’s border town of Akcakale and at least two people were wounded

1/50 28 November 2019

Pro-democracy protesters hold an SOS sign and US national flags during a Thanksgiving rally in Edinburgh Place, Hong Kong. Protesters were thanking US President Donald Trump for signing into a law ‘The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act Hong Kong’, provoking an angry backlash from the Chinese government. Hong Kong is in its sixth month of mass protests, which were originally triggered by a now withdrawn extradition bill, and have since turned into a wider pro-democracy movement

2/50 27 November 2019

Rescuers with a dog search through the rubble of a collapsed building after an earthquake in Durres, western Albania

3/50 26 November 2019

A shepherd leads a flock of sheep on a pontoon bridge in Allahabad

4/50 25 November 2019

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects a female company belonging to 5492 troops

5/50 24 November 2019

A protester jumps between burning tires during ongoing anti-government protests in Basra, Iraq

6/50 23 November 2019

Fans dressed as Star Wars characters during day three of the first Test between Australia and Pakistan at The Gabba in Australia

7/50 22 November 2019

Pope Francis speaks with religious leaders during a meeting at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand

8/50 21 November 2019

A girl injured in last night’s attack by the Syrian regime on a camp for displaced people near the Turkish border in Idlib, Syria is held up to the camera

9/50 20 November 2019

Indian paramilitary soldiers detain a Congress party supporter during a protest against the withdrawal of Special Protection Group (SPG) cover to party president Sonia Gandhi, her children and former prime minister Manmohan Singh, in New Delh. The move to lift off the SPG security, an elite force that protects prime ministers and their immediate families, led to sharp reactions from the Congress, which accused the government of personal vendetta

10/50 19 November 2019

An image taken from a plane window shows Sydney shrouded in smoke from nearby bush fires

11/50 18 November 2019

Protesters run for cover after riot police fired tear gas towards the bridge they were climbing down to the road below, to escape from Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Dozens escaped the besieged campus by lowering themselves on a rope from a footbridge to a highway. Once on the road they were seen being picked up by waiting motorcyclists

12/50 17 November 2019

Anti-government protesters draped in Iraqi national flags walk into clouds of smoke from burning tires during a demonstration in the southern city of Basra, Iraq

13/50 16 November 2019

A protester wearing a yellow jacket waves a French flag in a fountain during a demonstration to mark the first anniversary of the “yellow vests” movement in Nice, France

14/50 15 November 2019

A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to return a tear gas canister fired by Israeli forces amid clashes following a weekly demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kfar Qaddum

15/50 14 November 2019

A patient suffering from dengue fever receives medical treatment at an isolation ward at a hospital in Larkana, Pakistan. According to local reports, 26 deaths have been reported out of a total of 10,013 confirmed cases of dengue infection. Dengue fever is reportedly caused by a specific type of mosquito, the Aedes mosquito, that bites only during daytime, especially during sunrise and sunset.

16/50 13 November 2019

An anti-government protester flashes the V-sign for victory in front of burning tyres used to block a main road at the entrance of Tripoli. The previous night, street protests erupted across Lebanon after President Michel Aoun defended the role of his allies, the Shiite movement Hezbollah, in Lebanon’s government, cutting off several major roads. In his televised address, Aoun proposed a government that includes both technocrats and politicians

17/50 12 November 2019

An Israeli missile launching from the Iron Dome defence missile system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells. They were sent up to intercept rockets launched from the nearby Palestinian Gaza Strip. Israel’s military killed a commander for Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad in a strike on his home, prompting retaliatory rocket fire and fears of a severe escalation in violence

18/50 11 November 2019

A species of deer thought to be extinct, the chevrotain, has been spotted for the first time in 30 years in the wilds of Vietnam. The deer is around the size of a domestic cat

19/50 10 November 2019

The royal motorcade of Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, under tight security, passes through a street in Tokyo. Thousands of people gathered for the rare open-top car parade featuring the newly enthroned Emperor

20/50 9 November 2019

People knock over a mock-up of the former Berlin Wall during a performance prior to the German first division Bundesliga football match Hertha BSC Berlin v RB Leipzig on the 30 anniversary of the fall off the wall

21/50 8 November 2019

Flames from an out of control bushfire from a nearby residential area in Harrington, northeast of Sydney. Australian firefighters warned they were in “uncharted territory” as they struggled to contain dozens of out-of-control bushfires across the east of the country

22/50 7 November 2019

Demonstrators shine lasers during a protest against Chile’s government in Santiago, the capital

23/50 6 November 2019

Activists from India’s main opposition Congress party shout slogans as they are stopped by police during a protest against what the activists say is economic slowdown in the country, in Guwahati, India

24/50 5 November 2019

Smoke rises from a fire in downtown Lagos, Nigeria. Firefighters worked hard to try and extinguish a fire at the Balogun market. Thick black smoke and flames shot from the five-story buildings as fire trucks attempted to get access

25/50 4 November 2019

Women run down a sand dune as they take part in the desert trek “Rose Trip Maroc” in the erg Chebbi near Merzouga. It is a female-oriented trek where teams of three must travel through the southern Moroccan Sahara desert with a compass, a map and a topographical reporter

26/50 3 November 2019

Riot police descend an escalator inside the City Plaza mall in Hong Kong after a bloody knife fight wounded six people there. A local pro-democracy politician had his ear bitten off during another chaotic day of political unrest in the city

27/50 2 November 2019

People participate in the celebration of the ‘muerteadas de Jalapa del Valle’, as part of the Day of the Dead in Mexico

28/50 1 November 2019

Firefighters work to control flames from a backfire during the Maria fire in Santa Paula, California

29/50 31 October 2019

Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, over the Vestrahorn mountain in the east of Iceland

30/50 30 October 2019

A model presents a creation at the show Heaven Gaia by Xiong Ying during the China Fashion Week in Beijing. The fashion event runs from 25 October to 2 November

31/50 29 October 2019

Hindu devotees collect rice as offerings on ‘Annakut’ or ‘Govardhan Puja’ festival at the Madan Mohan temple in Kolkata. People in large numbers gather at the temple to collect the rice offerings in the belief that it will keep them in good health and they’ll never face poverty or scarcity of food

32/50 28 October 2019

Authorities investigate after a Port Authority bus was caught in a sinkhole in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

33/50 27 October 2019

South Africa players celebrate after beating Wales in their Rugby World Cup semi-final match. The Springboks will face England in next Saturday’s final following fly-half Handre Pollard’s match-winning penalty four minutes from time. The match ended 19-16

34/50 26 October 2019

Participants from Thailand pose in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall as they take part in the annual gay pride parade in Taipei. Some two hundred thousand revellers marched through Taipei in a riot of rainbow colours and celebration as Taiwan held its first pride parade since making history in Asia by legalising gay marriage

35/50 25 October 2019

A girl enjoys a ball bath as she is being photographed at the made-for-Instagram museum ‘Cali Dreams’ in Dusseldorf, Germany. No artworks are shown in this museum, rather each visitor himself becomes an artwork by staging himself in front of one of the 25 sceneries. Cali Dreams is initially open for three months. After this test phase, however, the museum is planned as a long-term project

36/50 24 October 2019

A fire lorry speeds towards a rampant wildfire near Geyserville, California

37/50 23 October 2019

Protesters facing Lebanese army soldiers wave national flags in the area of Jal al-Dib in the northern outskirts of Beirut. A week of unprecedented street protests against the political class showed no signs of abating, despite the army moving to reopen key roads. Protests were sparked on October 17 by a proposed tax on WhatsApp and other messaging apps

38/50 22 October 2019

Liberal leader and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves to supporters beside his wife Sophie after the federal election at the Palais des Congres in Montreal. He managed to hold on to power, albeit of a minority government, in one of the most divisive elections in the country’s history

39/50 21 October 2019

A convoy of US vehicles is seen after withdrawing from northern Syria, on the outskirts of Dohuk, Iraq

40/50 20 October 2019

Japan players go over to thank their fans after South Africa beat them in the quarter-final of the Rugby World Cup. Makazole Mapimpi double ended the hosts’ dreams in Tokyo 3-26. The Springboks will now face Wales in the semi-finals for a place in the final

41/50 19 October 2019

Archaeologists remove the cover of an ancient painted coffin discovered at Al-Asasif Necropolis in the Vally of Kings in Luxor, Egypt

42/50 18 October 2019

A protester throws a tire on a fire to block the highway north of Beirut, Lebanon. Protesters, mainly civil activists, started demonstrating in the downtown area on 17 October, condemning proposed taxes in the 2020 budget. An unexpected addition to impose a daily fee for using WhatsApp calls caused outrage. However, according to the Telecommunications Minister Mohamed Choucair, the charge will not make it through the government palace after the impact it has made on the streets

43/50 17 October 2019

Children watch as army tanks are transported on trucks in the outskirts of the town of Akcakale, in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, at the border of Syria

44/50 16 October 2019

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un riding a white horse amongst the first snow at Mouth Paektu

45/50 15 October 2019

Protesters create a burning barricade after the Supreme Court in Madrid handed lengthy prison sentences to nine of the detained Catalonian leaders for up to 13 years each

46/50 14 October 2019

Protestors light their torches during a peaceful rally in central Hong Kong’s business district. The protests that started in June over a now-shelved extradition bill have since snowballed into an anti-China campaign amid anger over what many view as Beijing’s interference in Hong Kong’s autonomy that was granted when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997

47/50 13 October 2019

Japan players celebrate victory after beating Scotland 28-21 to reach the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup for the first ever time. The hosts head coach Jamie Joseph paid tribute to those who lost their lives in Typhoon Hagibis

48/50 12 October 2019

Surging waves generated by typhoon Hagibis hit the seashore in Mihama, Mie Prefecture, Japan. Hagibis is the strongest storm to hit in six decades and battered the country’s main island with torrential rain and violent winds
Firefighters battle the Saddleridge fire in Sylmar, California

50/50 10 October 2019

People run to take cover after mortars fired from Syria, in Akcakale, Turkey. An Associated Press journalist said at least two government buildings were hit by the mortars in Sanliurfa province’s border town of Akcakale and at least two people were wounded

It comes after Hungarian website index.hu quoted public media sources speculating the country had withdrawn because Eurovision was considered “too gay”.

In a statement, MTVA told The Guardian: “Instead of taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020, we will support the valuable productions created by the talents of Hungarian pop music directly.”

The broadcaster announced last month the winner of its song contest would not go on to compete in Eurovision but would instead be given the chance to appear on domestic media shows and at festivals.

Hungary’s decision not to participate in Eurovision was then confirmed last week when the list of competing countries was published.

“I welcome the decision, including from a mental health perspective, that Hungary will not take part in the homosexual flotilla that this international song competition has been reduced to,” said Andras Bencsik, the editor of a pro-government magazine, said.

“Many young people thought that this is something for people under 18, but at this event the destruction of public taste takes place with screaming transvestites and bearded women.”

Associates of Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, have gained control of a large swathe of the country’s media in recent years and his Fidesz party has taken control of state media.

The prime minister has launched a policy to promote traditional family values and boost birth rates, amid a rise in homophobia.