David Blunkett, the home secretary, was accused last night of signing the death warrant for an HIV-positive student from Malawi by ordering her deportation.

The student, who lives near Oxford under the pseudonym Blessed, came to Britain to visit friends in 1999 and sought leave to remain to take a computer studies course.

After two years she fell ill and tested HIV-positive at the Radcliffe infirmary, Oxford, where doctors put her on anti-retroviral medication, which has improved her condition.

Her MP Evan Harris, who is the Liberal Democrats’ health spokesman, asked the Home Office to give her exceptional leave to remain in Britain on compassionate grounds to allow the treatment to continue.

His plea was rejected, and she is due to be returned to Malawi, but remains in Britain pending an appeal.

This is a horrible story and shame on David Blunkett for allowing such a situation to occur – he could still act.