A delegation of six Chagos Islanders yesterday handed in to 10, Downing Street, two petition letters addressed to new prime minister Brown.

Delegation leader, Hengride Permal, chair of the Chagos Islands Community Association, told News Line afterwards: ‘We are hoping Mr Brown will agree to meet us now that Blair is gone.

‘Hopefully, Mr Brown will agree to sit with us and talk about our rights to go back to our islands – all of them.

‘Also, we want him to start talking about compensation for 40 years of pain and suffering for the Chagossian people, before all of them die.

‘There is a big group of Chagossians in Crawley.

‘We are having lots of problems here in the UK which need to be addressed.

‘Also, we have sent in a second petition concerning visas and leave to remain for the Chagossian families, like spouses and independent children.

‘They are required to pay a big fee to get their visas.

‘They also have to fill in the life in the UK exam to get their indefinite leave to stay.

‘Lots of Chagossians are illiterate, so it’s hard for them to take the exam, or pay such high fees that go up every year.

‘Hopefully, Brown will set these things straight for the Chagossians and their families.’