BLACKBURN MP Kate Hollern is stepping up her effort s to stop the deportation of a Kurdish family from the town after receiving letters confirming Italy will offer refuge while an asylum application is considered.

She admits this makes the case for them to stay in the UK 'very difficult' but pledged to continue to lobby home secretary Sajid Javid on their behalf.

Mrs Hollern has already persuaded the authorities to put the deportation of Soran Mohammad, his wife Wazira and their four young children on hold.

Now she has received letters confirming that the Italian authorities will accept the transfer of the family to their country while an application for permanent refugee status is processed.

A second letter from the Home Office itself says 'Italy is a safe third country' to which they can be sent and therefore proposes to remove them there.

Mr Mohammed admits to being fingerprinted by Italian police but denies applying for asylum there after the family came to the notice of the Rome authorities while being trafficked from Iran by people smugglers.

He believes his life could be in danger after threats from the human traffickers who smuggled him into the UK if the family is sent back to Italy.

Mr Mohammed also fears for his safety at the hands of the authorities in his native Iran, who accuse him of anti-government activity and smuggling banned alcohol, if he is returned there.

In either case he believes his wife and four children - Sumaya,10; Sariya, nine; Binar, three; and Danar, two - would be left without financial and emotional support.

The family's application to stay in the UK is supported by Donna Simpson, head of Wensley Fold Church of England Primary Academy, attended by the two elder children.

Mrs Hollern said: ‘This is a very difficult and complicated case.

"I can particularly understand the children’s distress as they have done their best to settle in the UK and are integrating well into their school community.

" I understand that the case is being reviewed by the Home Office following my intervention and I am continuing to support their efforts to resolve the matter’.

Mrs Simpson said: "We are hoping as a school they are successful in their application and that they children are allowed to continue their education with us as they have settled so well and have made many friends."

A Home Office spokesman said the case review was continuing as evidence from the family and Mrs Hollern was carefully considered.

They fled the lawless Iran/Iraq border region in August after a friend of Mr Mohammad implicated him in anti-government activity, and were smuggled through Turkey and across Europe to the UK.

Mr Mohammad denies any political involvement but admits importing strictly forbidden alcohol, illegal cigarettes and banned satellite TV equipment.