Campaigners have locked themselves to the gate of a detention centre for failed asylum-seekers.

The anti-deportation protesters say they are trying to stop the mass expulsion of about 50 Iraqis on a charter flight out of the UK.

They staged their demonstration at Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre at Gatwick this morning to try to stop some of the detainees who are kept there from being removed on the flight.

Four women and three men locked or superglued themselves to the gates of the centre to stop traffic going in or out.

About 15 protesters arrived at 7.15am this morning, carrying a banner saying: "No collective expulsions".

They were later surrounded by about 20 police but no-one had been arrested by 8.30am.

One of the protesters, Brian Arcola, said in a statement released this morning: "Charter flights like this are the latest step in the government's macabre immigration policy.

"If there's to be any truth in the claim that Britain is a tolerant, fair country, this has got to be stopped."

The protesters say several of the 350 people have been deported to Kurdistan in the last six months have later been killed or kidnapped.

They are urging Britain to sign up to an international agreement banning mass expulsions on human rights grounds.