This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
BRITISH AIRWAYS has been condemned for sponsoring Britain’s biggest Pride event as it helps deport people who face persecution for their sexuality.
Activist group Lesbians & Gays Support the Migrants (LGSM) called on the airline to “stop being complicit” with the government in deporting people, as the Brighton Pride event began today.
The open letter claims the presence of firms at the event that “profit off deportations” is an affront to the vision of freedom that Pride represents.
Signatories include shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, Tottenham Labour MP David Lammy, Brighton Kemptown Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Green Party equalities spokeswoman Aimee Challenor and British-US actor Andrew Garfield.
It said: “It is an added insult that many of those deported on British Airways are LGBTQIA+ people who should be marching with us at the parade but are instead brutally rounded up and ejected from the UK to face poverty, persecution and, in some cases, death.”
More than 50,000 people have signed an online petition calling on BA to stop helping the Home Office to deport LGBT people and people of the Windrush generation, of whom at least 63 have been wrongly deported, ministers have admitted.
The petition was started by Zita Holbourne, national chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, to urge BA to follow the steps of Virgin Airlines, which announced in June that it would no longer offer seats to the Home Office to forcibly deport people deemed to be illegal immigrants.
That announcement followed a backlash over the Windrush scandal and amid pressure from campaigners in the run-up to London Pride, which Virgin sponsored.
A BA spokeswoman said: “It is a legal requirement under the Immigration Act 1971 for all airlines to deport people when asked to do so by the Home Office.
“Not fulfilling this obligation amounts to breaking the law. Airlines only have the right to refuse deportees on the basis that they feel there is a threat to the safety or security of the aircraft or its passengers or the individual.
“We are not given any personal information about the individual being deported, including their sexuality or why they are being deported.
“The process we follow is a full risk assessment, with the Home Office, which considers the safety of the individual, our customers and crew on the flight.”
A Home Office spokeswoman said: “No-one who is found to be at risk of persecution on the grounds of sexual orientation and/or gender identity will be returned to their country of origin.
“However, where someone is found not to need international protection and has no other basis to remain in the UK, we do expect them to leave.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.