A MOTHER-OF-TWO who is seeking asylum was denied bail yesterday ahead of her expected removal date next week.

Despite a campaign by the community in Darlington to prevent their removal, Elizabeth Kiwunga and her two young children, who are being detained at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Centre, near Clapham, Bedfordshire, are due to be sent back to Uganda next Thursday.

The Reverend Sheilagh Williamson, who is leading the campaign to prevent Ms Kiwunga’s removal, wants to meet Minister for Borders and Immigration Liam Byrne.

Ms Williamson said that by the time she left home for a week’s holiday last week, her letter to Mr Byrne had not been acknowledged.

MEP Stephen Hughes, who alongside other high-profile community figures is supporting Ms Kiwunga, has also sent a letter to Mr Byrne backing Ms Williamson’s request.

Ms Kiwunga has been twice denied asylum, despite her supporters’ claims of evidence she was tortured in her homeland.

Ms Williamson, of St Columba’s Church, Darlington, told The Northern Echo she had sent a letter to Mr Byrne requesting a meeting, with Ms Kiwunga’s permission.

She said: “Everybody who has requested a meeting so far has had the same reply – they’re not allowed to comment on individual cases because of confidentiality. However, I have Elizabeth’s permission, so there’s no reason to deny me a meeting.”

Ms Kiwunga, 33, and her two children, two-year-old Hilary- Marie and 16-week-old John, were due to be removed several weeks ago, but were given a temporary reprieve when it emerged that the youngsters had not been given anti-malaria medication.

Now Ms Williamson, Mr Hughes and his wife, Councillor Cyndi Hughes, are urging members of the community to write to Mr Byrne, and urge him to let Ms Kiwunga and her children stay.

Others from the community have also written to support Ms Kiwunga, including 12 youngsters from the church.

One letter, by 11-year-old Katherine Curle, said: “Please Mr Byrne, do the best you can to bring them back safe and sound to our welcoming arms.”

Rachael Thompson, 17, wrote: “We want Elizabeth back because she is part of our community, our family and church. They are loved and wanted.”

Ms Williamson said: “We have lots of people writing to Mr Byrne. We really want Elizabeth to be allowed to stay.”

A spokesman for the UK Border Agency said it only sought to remove families who were in the country unlawfully once all appeal rights were exhausted.

■ Letters, marked with Ms Kiwunga’s reference number of 479481407, can be emailed to byrnel@parliament.uk or posted to Liam Byrne, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.