Tory MP Crispin Blunt urges Theresa May not to deport Ugandan lesbian asylum seeker

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Conservative MP Crispin Blunt has written to Home Secretary Theresa May over the plight of a lesbian asylum seeker.

Aidah Asaba was due to be deported to Uganda on Saturday.

But on Friday it was announced that Ms Asaba had been granted a reprieve pending a review of a new asylum claim.

Ms Asaba has been freed from detention as a result of the Home Office’s decision. She had been held at the controversial Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre for the past three months.

Supporters of the 26-year-old held a demonstration outside the House of Lords on Thursday afternoon.

The Guardian has revealed Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, a former prisons minister, wrote to Home Secretary Theresa May to warn that if Ms Asaba was deported she would face a “lethal threat”.

“Ms Asaba has clearly endured a highly traumatic experience both in Uganda and shamefully in the UK – the least we can do is offer her the opportunity of appeal,” the Reigate MP said.

Mr Blunt strongly criticised the Home Office in its handling of LGBT asylum cases in April.

During a debate about the lack of LGBT rights in Uganda he said: “The disgraceful stories of how the UK Border Agency has handled some of these cases in the past few years are now, happily, a matter of public record”.

The Home Office released a statement on Friday saying: “The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need our protection and we consider every claim for asylum on its individual merits.

“We believe that those with no right to be in the UK should return to their home country and we will help those who wish to leave voluntarily. However, when they refuse to do so we will take steps to enforce their removal at the earliest opportunity.”

In March, Home Secretary Theresa May announced a review into the handling of LGBT asylum cases.