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Parliamentary Committee to investigate sham same-sex marriages

The Home Affairs Select Committee will investigate claims that couples are increasingly using same-sex weddings as cover for sham marriages.

The practice has been revealed in an ITV documentary, 'Exposure', which examines the multi-million pound visa industry.

Those involved in organising the sham marriages believe they are less likely to get caught if the couple pretend to be in a same-sex relationship.

Two of the apparent fixers discuss fake brides. Credit: Credit: Exposure

The parliamentary committee's Chairman Keith Vaz says while the committee looked into the issue just last year, the program has provided new information that MPs did not have.

"If this is an area that is being used by those intent on subverting the law, then we will need to look again at this issue to try to stamp out what is clearly an abuse," Mr Vaz told ITV News.

"People are reluctant to question too closely those who are involved in any marriages.

"But if there is evidence that this is being used - particularly (with) same-sex marriages - then we'll certainly need to investigate it again."

"This would be a most disturbing trend which we need to bring to an end as soon as possible."

– Keith Vaz MP, Home Affairs Select Committee

The 'Exposure' documentary also details the use of fake passports and human trafficking. The program went inside the Brent Registry - which is one of the busiest in the country.

Its website warms people that it works with the UK Border Agency to identify those seeking to abuse immigration laws.

"Anybody found to be arranging, facilitating or entering into a marriage or civil partnership solely to gain permission to stay in the UK risks arrest or prosecution," it states.

"Foreign nationals may also face deportation and be barred from re-entering the UK for up to 14 years."

documentary went inside Brent Register office - one of the busiest in the country

Watch Exposure: The Sham Marriage Racket - How To Buy Your Way Into Britain ITV 10.40pm Thursday.


Teenage girl arrested on suspicion of terror offence

A 15-year-old girl has been arrested on suspicion of a terror offence.

The teenager was held when officers from the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command attended an address in east London, Scotland Yard said.

She was arrested on suspicion of preparation of terrorism under under section 5 of the Terrorism Act, 2006.

The girl is currently in custody at a central London police station.


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