Amendment to ban HIV positive people entering UK not considered for immigration bill

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An amendment to a UK immigration bill, which would have banned those living with HIV or hepatitis B from immigrating to the UK, was not considered by MPs before the bill was voted on at Third Reading.

Amendment NC21 of the Immigration Bill was introduced by Dr Phillip Lee, the Conservative MP for Bracknell, who is also a former doctor. It had the support of several other Tory MPs.

Another former GP, the Conservative MP for Totnes, Dr Sarah Wollaston, also supported the proposal.

Margot James criticised fellow Conservative MP Dr Sarah Wollaston for supporting the plans, and said the government would not ban such people from entering the country.

HIV charities said they were are alarmed by the amendment, which would have infringed on a number of existing human rights laws and United Nations declarations.

Earlier, the Home Office distanced itself from the amendment, saying it does not reflect existing government policy and that it has no plans to introduce health screening for conditions such as HIV or hepatitis.

The bill passed with 295 votes to 16, and will now go to the House of Lords. The vote took place before Dr Lee’s amendment could be considered.