Almost 1,000 asylum seekers are allowed to stay in UK to escape sexual persecution in their home country
- Almost 1,000 gay, lesbian or bisexual applicants were offered sanctuary in 2018
- Home Office sources say that homosexuality putting a person at risk was one of the main arguments made in last-minute legal challenges to deportation
- 501 were allowed to stay straight away while 473 won their case on appeal
A record number of asylum seekers have been allowed to stay in Britain after saying they faced persecution at home over their sexuality.
Almost 1,000 gay, lesbian or bisexual applicants were offered sanctuary in 2018, the most recent year of data.
In 2015 fewer than 800 such claims were approved.
Home Office sources say that homosexuality putting a person at risk was one of the main arguments made in last-minute legal challenges to deportation.
Almost 1,000 gay, lesbian or bisexual applicants have been allowed to stay in Britain (stock)
The way lawyers use late appeals, often on human rights grounds, has been under intense scrutiny following last week’s Home Office charter flight to Jamaica.
It saw 23 convicted Jamaican criminals, including a murderer and several rapists, avoid removal after they lodged late claims.
Many of the cases set out in the latest data involve people from countries such as Uganda, Pakistan, Malaysia and Nigeria, where gay and lesbian people are often subjected to abuse and attack.
However asylum claims on sexuality grounds were also accepted from nations such as Albania and Russia.
There were 974 successful asylum claims on such grounds in 2018.
Of these, 501 were allowed to stay straight away while another 473 won their case on appeal.
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The UK has a proud record of providing protection for asylum seekers fleeing persecution because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and fully considers their needs and circumstances at all stages of the process.
‘Each asylum case is carefully considered on its individual merits by caseworkers who receive extensive training and must follow Home Office policy guidance.
501 were allowed to stay straight away while 473 won their case on appeal (stock)
‘Under no circumstances would they instigate a line of questioning of a sexually explicit nature.’
Home Secretary Priti Patel has been outspoken in her criticism of lawyers who use last-minute challenges to block deportations.