A TV presenter and a campaign group fighting to allow people the right to return to the Chagos Islands presented a petition to the government.

Ben Fogle, a patron of the UK Chagos Support Association, and Gianny Augustine, Sabrina Jean and Clifford Volfrin, of the Chagos Refugee Group UK, gathered outside 10 Downing Street yesterday to hand over the document to prime minister David Cameron after a protest in Whitehall.

The British forced the Chagossians to leave the British-controlled overseas territory in the central Indian Ocean by 1973 to allow the US to establish an air base on Diego Garcia.

Critics described the expulsions as one of the most shameful episodes in modern British colonial history, with the exiled Chagossians fighting a long series of legal battles for the right of return.

The single largest concentration of people from the Chagos Islands in the UK is in Crawley.

In March, the Government delayed a decision on resettlement despite vows to reach a decision before the end of the last Parliament.

The deal which allows the US to maintain a base at Diego Garcia also comes up for renewal next year.