A House of Commons committee has strongly condemned the UK Border Agency for its treatment of LGBT asylum seekers, forcing them to hand over photos and video of ‘highly personal sexual activity’ to prove their sexuality, according to a report on the BBC.

A report by the Home Affairs Committee said that those who claim to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex face ‘extraordinary obstacles’ in persuading immigration officers of their case, adding: ‘The battleground is now firmly centred in “proving” that they are gay. In turn, this has led to claimants going to extreme lengths to try and meet the new demands of credibility assessment in this area, including the submission of photographic and video evidence of highly personal sexual activity to caseworkers, presenting officers and the judiciary.

‘It is not appropriate to force people to prove their sexuality if there is a perception that they are gay.’

Its chairman, Labour MP Keith Vaz, told BBC News: ‘It is absurd for a judge or a caseworker to have to ask an individual to prove that they are lesbian or gay, to ask them what kind of films they watch, what kind of material they read.

‘People should accept the statement of sexuality by those who seek asylum. This practice is regrettable and ought to be stopped immediately.’

The Border Agency had previously relied on what it described as ‘voluntary discretion’ – which had meant it would tell an applicant to return and simply ‘act straight’ to avoid abuse.