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Government: 'No apology' for banning rapist Tyson

The government was defiant today after it emerged former boxing champion Mike Tyson was banned from entering the UK under new immigration rules.

Mike Tyson, former boxing champion and convicted rapist. Credit: Press Association

Read: Former boxing champion Mike Tyson banned from UK

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said the fact that the former heavyweight champion had been refused entry was "welcome" and proof that the Home Office was getting to grips with immigration. He said:

"The rules don't change just because the offender is famous.

"People have to obey the law, this Government makes no apology for toughening up the rules in 2012, and they will apply to people evenly, whether they are famous or not."

More: Women's group welcome Tyson ban

Tyson: UK immigration law change 'disheartening'

Mike Tyson has said changes to UK immigration law banning him from entering the country are "disheartening".

The former boxer is barred from the UK due to a six-year sentence for rape that he received in 1992.

I was greatly disappointed when I learned of United Kingdom's immigration law changes that went into effect December 2012.

I have been coming to the UK consistently in the past decade so this change is disheartening since it affects my current entry standing.

I apologise to my fans that were inconvenienced, however, please know I am currently working diligently with the proper authorities to regain access next year for my UK tour...

I have a great deal of respect for the laws of the United Kingdom and will continue taking the proper steps for re-entry.

– Mike Tyson

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Tyson ban 'mandatory' under new UK immigration laws

Former boxer Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson was sentenced in 1992 to six years in prison as well as a following four years on probation. Credit: PA

The ban on former boxer Mike Tyson from entering the UK is "mandatory" because of the length of his jail sentence for rape.

Under tougher immigration rules introduced in December 2012, there is "a mandatory refusal where a person has been convicted of an offence and sentenced to at least four years' imprisonment, at any point in the past."

Although Tyson only served three years in prison for the crime, he was sentenced to six years.

Tyson ban 'sends message' of criminal consequences

A campaign group that tackles disbelief around domestic and sexual violence has praised laws barring former boxer Mike Tyson from visiting the UK.

Ending Victimisation and Blame said the ban "sends a message" about the consequences of criminal actions.

We are delighted that Mike Tyson is not being allowed into the UK due to his previous convictions, one of which was for rape.

We believe that this sends a message that his criminal actions have long-term consequences - sadly, the consequences for his victim seem to have been forgotten by both Mike Tyson and his supporters.

– Spokesperson for Ending Victimisation and Blame

Former boxing champion Mike Tyson banned from UK

Former world heavyweight boxing champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson has discovered he is banned from entering the UK.

Mike Tyson has discovered he is banned from the UK. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Archive

The 47-year-old has cancelled a string of appearances in London as part of a promotional tour for his new book after finding out he was banned from Britain.

His publishers said recent changes to UK immigration rules, including any person sentenced to more than four years in prison being banned from Britain, meant he was unable to travel.

Tweets posted on Tyson's official Twitter account as recently as Friday suggest the boxer was unaware he would be hit by the changes. He wrote: "So, UK fans, who is brave enough to get in the ring and ask me a question?"

Tyson will now promote his autobiography Undisputed Truth in Paris.

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