Gay asylum decision was ‘absurd’, says Ann Widdecombe

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

Former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe has attacked a judge’s decision to allow two gay asylum seekers the right to stay in the UK.

Writing in the Daily Express, Ms Widdecombe argued that the decision was “absurd” and that the pair should not have been allowed asylum because neither were facing immediate risk of death or imprisonment.

She wrote that the men, from Iran and Cameroon, “seem to have wanted to come here merely so that they can be overt about their lifestyles”.

She continued: “Many can sympathise with such an aspiration but it is a far cry from proof of individual danger. Was either about to be arrested?

“The asylum system is the most abused gateway to life in the West and in particular to Britain. Other countries, bound by the same Convention, take a more summary approach to anything except the serious refugee.”

The men in the case were originally told by the UK Border Agency that they could return home and live safely if they were “discreet” and hid their sexual orientation.

Both Iran and Cameroon criminalise homosexuality and human rights groups report cases of gays and lesbians being persecuted in the countries.

Ms Widdecombe also criticised the bizarre statement made by Judge Rodgers, who said that gay men must be “free to enjoy themselves going to Kylie concerts” and drink “exotically coloured cocktails”.

She wrote: “The judge has now opened up yet another raft of abuse as people arrive claiming to be homosexual. Perhaps Lord Rodgers will set out the criteria for proving such claims? Attendance at a Kylie concert? Talking loudly about boys? For sheer silliness this judge takes a lot of beating.”

She continued that the government should resist the “stupidity” of allowing such asylum claims and hinted at possible “civil unrest”.

Ms Widdecombe, the MP for Maidstone and the Weald until she stood down this year, is a devout Christian.

She has previously voted very strongly against equal gay rights and government plans to allow unmarried and gay couples to adopt children.

In 2000, she said gay lifestyles did not have “equal validity” with heterosexual relationships. She later dismissed the first Conservative LGBT summit as “misguided”.