The Home Secretary acted unlawfully by refusing British citizenship to the family of a failed asylum seeker, a judge has ruled.
Theresa May blocked the application from the wife & children of the man from Egypt, who cannot be named, because of his previous support for Islamist movement al Qaeda.
Ms May vetoed the request in 2014 to "deter potential extremists from involvement in extremist activity", declaring British citizenship was a privilege, not a right.
But Mr Justice Ouseley declared the man's family, who have lived in Britain for more than 20 years, were themselves innocent of extremist behaviour & there was no law that allowed citizenship to be denied simply to deter others from extremism in the future.
The family'sÂ QC Michael Fordham told the judge at a hearing in October that they were "blameless individuals whose satisfactory character is unimpeachable," who were wrongly being penalised for "the sins of the father".
He added the father was no longer regarded as a threat & his family were being made to suffer purely for his past conduct.
"Executive action of this kind has no place in a liberal democracy governed by the rule of law, & the court is respectfully invited to say so," he said.
Robin Tam QC, appearing for the Home Secretary, said the veto did not cause the family too much hardship because they were able to continue living in Britain.
The judge was told the family have lived in the UK since May 1994, & were granted the right to stay in the country in May 2009.
The court heard the man's 51-year-old wife was mostly bedridden & the couple's children have left home & are following professional careers.
The 27-year-old son lives with his wife, & the 26-year-old daughter is married with two British children.
The man has been refused asylum in the UK yet cannot be returned to Egypt, where he faces a real risk of torture.
He is not judged by the security services to present any current threat of terrorist-related activity, the court was told.
Source: “Sky News”