The hero Afghan pilot who served alongside British forces and was threatened with deportation to Rwanda has finally been granted asylum in the UK after a five-month-long campaign by The Independent.
The air force lieutenant, who fled the Taliban and came to the UK on a small boat because it was “impossible” to get here via a legal route, was previously rejected under the government’s Afghan resettlement scheme – sparking fury from top politicians and military figures, who called it “shameful” that Britain should turn its back on the war hero.
But in a dramatic turn of events, the Home Office has now accepted that he has a “well-founded fear of persecution and therefore cannot return to [his] country of origin”.
Former defence secretary John Hutton, now Lord Hutton, congratulated The Independent and said “justice has been done”, while former defence minister Kevan Jones said the threat to put the pilot on a one-way flight to Rwanda had “clashed with a sense of fair play”.
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