UK

Nigerian asylum seeker and son 'must return to UK'

The Royal Courts of Justice

The home secretary must return an asylum seeker and her son to the UK just months after ordering their removal, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

The 45-year-old woman and her son were flown back to Nigeria in January.

Last month, an immigration court said Theresa May had not considered the "best interests" of the boy, five.

Meanwhile, a chartered flight that would have returned 59 asylum seekers to Afghanistan was aborted after a last-minute court order.

'Flawed decision'

An appeal from Mrs May's lawyers against the decision of the immigration court in the case of the mother and her son was rejected by Lord Justice McCombe.

He said it was "impossible" to conclude that the decision was "wrong in principle".

The appeal hearing in London was told that plans were in place to fly the pair back to London on Thursday.

The Nigerian woman was discovered working illegally in a shop in London using a false Dutch passport, in 2007.

She applied to stay in the UK and said she had been in the country since 1991, but her application was turned down.

The woman then claimed asylum in 2010, saying she feared persecution and ill-treatment in her home country.

By then, she had given birth to a son.

Her removal was secured and the pair left the UK.

But the Upper Immigration Tribunal ruled last month that the home secretary had failed to take into account the impact on the boy or mental health problems suffered by his mother, and the "risk of that degenerating in the Nigerian context".

The tribunal said Mrs May's decision was "flawed" because the boy's interests should have been a "primary consideration".

On Tuesday night, a Home Office flight that would have taken asylum seekers to Afghanistan was cancelled after lawyers for some of the men successfully argued the country was no longer safe.

The men would be at risk of "serious harm" if forcibly deported, they said.