THE UK Government has suffered a string defeats in the House of Lords over its Illegal Migration Bill.

Peers backed a move – by 204 votes to 168, majority 36 - to force Home Secretary Suella Braverman to consider asylum claim from migrants arriving by unauthorised routes if they have not been removed from the UK within six months.

Supporters of the measure argue it provides “a backstop”, preventing people being kept indefinitely “in limbo” at taxpayers’ expense.

A further Government defeat occurred when peers voted by 216 to 147 – majority 69 - for restrictions on removal destinations for LGBT+ people.

The move would prevent these migrants being sent to a country where they have a well-founded fear of persecution or one recognised as inappropriate.

These include countries like Rwanda, Nigeria, Jamaica, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

READ MORE: Republic set to protest on Royal Mile during 'mini coronation'

The Lords then delivered a further blow to the Government in backing by 230 votes to 152 - majority 78 - a demand that the existing 24-hour limit on the detention of unaccompanied migrant children is retained.

Then peers demanded - by 230 votes to 151, majority 79 - that existing statutory limits on detention of accompanied children is kept at 72 hours or one week with ministerial approval.

A move to retain the 72-hour limit on the detention of pregnant women was then backed by the Lords by 226 votes to 152 – majority 74 – in another defeat for the Government.

The Bishop of Gloucester Rachel Treweek said: “This is an issue of dignity for a highly vulnerable group.

“There is no evidence to suggest the current 72-hour time limit on their detention has resulted in lots of pregnant women making the crossing.”

Leading women’s rights campaigner Baroness Gohir added: “This Government is compromising the safety of pregnant migrants and compromising the safety of their babies.”

READ MORE: Home Office called out for 'wrong and insulting' SNP asylum claims

The series of defeats follows a list of changes already demanded by the upper chamber to the Illegal Migration Bill, including modern slavery safeguards, a bar on backdating deportations and asylum help for unaccompanied children.

The bill aims to ensure those who arrive in the UK without permission will be detained and promptly removed, either to their home country or a third country such as Rwanda.

Ministers say action is needed to stop migrants making the dangerous Channel crossing but critics argue the draft legislation breaks international law and denies refuge to the most vulnerable.

The Court of Appeal ruled in favour of campaigners last week when it deemed the Rwanda scheme to be unlawful.