Deportation limbo for gay Somerset rugby player

6 June 2019, 14:11 | Updated: 6 June 2019, 14:32

A gay rugby player from Somerset has been allowed out of Bridgwater Police station despite a Home Office order saying they were revoking Ken Macharia’s right to stay in the UK.

In the letter, received on Monday, it stated that Mr Macharia does not qualify for leave “on any basis”, and adds: “You are expected to make arrangements to leave the United Kingdom without delay.”


The 39-year-old fears mob violence or blackmail in the East African nation where the Foreign Office warns gay British travellers that holding hands or kissing in public could lead to imprisonment.


He is on bail from an immigration removal centre and has been barred from working for almost a year.


More than 157,000 people have signed an e-petition for Ken to remain in the UK, a Crowdfunding campaign to raise money for legal costs has reached £8,000 but they need at least £10,000 to start a judicial review.


The mechanical engineer, who came to the UK to study for a Masters degree and plays for the LGBTQ-inclusive Bristol Bisons Rugby Football Club, he’s been fighting deportation for three years.


His teammates were there to offer support as Ken walked into Bridgwater Police station. Huge cheers erupted as Ken was allowed his freedom and was NOT detained.


But his future is uncertain as he remains under threat of deportation which could happen at anytime.


Ken remains in limbo and has to sign in on the first Thursday every month.