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Luke Pollard MP urges UK government to protect LGBTQ+ asylum seekers

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Luke Pollard has called on the UK government to not turn its back on LGBTQ+ asylum seekers fleeing persecution in its new Illegal Migration Bill.

The new legislation was announced as a way of tackling small boat crossings in the Channel, which Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, has acknowledged has a 50% chance of being incompatible with human convention rights.

The legislation will allow illegal arrivals to be detained without bail or judicial review for 28 days until they can be removed.

Parliament will also determine an annual cap on the number of refugees the UK will resettle via “safe and legal routes”. During the ministerial statement on 7 March, Pollard, Plymouth’s first openly gay MP and the current Shadow Armed Forces Minister, raised the importance of ensuring any legislation does not negatively impact LGBTQ+ asylum seekers – many of which have fled their home countries as a result of persecution there. “Britain is and should remain a beacon for LGBT rights,” he told Braverman. “So, can I ask the Home Secretary a particular question about LGBT asylum seekers who are coming to the UK fleeing persecution because of their sexuality and who they love and who they are, who don’t come from a country where there is an existing safe route.” He proceeded to question whether or not they will be deported back to the country where they face abuse, or sent to Rwanda under the government’s highly controversial asylum plan.

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