Chagos Islanders in Crawley express wishes to return home

Thousands of people in Crawley have been anxiously awaiting a decision that could allow them to return home to the Chagos Islands.

On Monday, British rule over the islands was ruled illegal by the United Nation's highest court.

The decision isn't binding, however judges at the International Court of Justice in The Hague were adamant that British sovereignty should end.

Chagos Islanders have told ITV News Meridian that they wished to return home to their islands in the Indian Ocean.

  • Watch: Islanders react to UN's decision

They had been forced to leave when an American air base was established in 1965 in Diego Garcia.

However others have expressed fear that in handing over rule from Britain to Mauritius, things could become more difficult.

  • Watch Rachel Hepworth's report below on the background of this story

Crawley MP, Henry Smith, says he is not surprised by the UN court ruling, but believes the future of the islands 'should be decided by the Chagos Island people'.

  • VIDEO: Political Correspondent Phil Hornby interviews Crawley MP Henry Smith