THERESA MAY has personally intervened to stop the deportation of a Livingston woman allegedly abused by her husband for trying to stop her three-year-old daughter's genitals being mutilated.

Earlier this month SNP MP Hannah Bardell used Prime Minister's Questions to urge May to protect her constituent, Lola Ilesanmi.

The 29-year-old Nigerian alleges that her husband smashed her in the face with an iPad, beat her and forced her to terminate a pregnancy.

In January of last year, she claims he pulled a knife from a kitchen drawer and threatened her and her daughter.

Ilesanmi had worked as a business analyst with RBS for four years, but her visa was a joint one with her husband, and after she and her daughter fled the marital home, he told officials they were estranged.

The Home Office then refused Ilesanmi leave to stay in Scotland, leaving the mum terrified her daughter would be subject to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) back in Nigeria.

On Friday Bardell received a letter from the Prime Minister confirming the decision to deport the analyst had been dropped.

In the letter May said a “comprehensive and rigorous assessment will be undertaken of Ms Ilesanmi and her children's circumstances and any risk to them in returning to Nigeria.”

The Prime Minister added that she had asked immigration minister Brandon Lewis to take "direct oversight of this case".

She also said the government took the issue of FGM very seriously and was committed to ending the practice within a generation.

Bardell said she was delighted the Home Office had stepped back, and hoped it would be the start of a new future for her constituent.

“I took Lola a copy of the Prime Minister’s letter earlier today, and she was encouraged not only by what Theresa May has said but also by the outpouring of support on social media since I raised this case in Parliament two weeks ago.

“FGM is an abhorrent practice and there is cross party support for its eradication. I welcome the Prime Minister’s strong words on this issue but urge her to grant Lola the leave to remain she seeks so that she can return to work with RBS, to the job that she loved, so she can support her family.”

Previously Ilesamni told the BBC she wanted to stay in Scotland and get her life back together: "I am not here for benefits, I am not here to seek help from the government. I am an educated woman I just want to continue to empower myself so that I can continue to contribute to society, to contribute to the community.

"I have paid my tax for the past six years in this country and I want to continue to do that.

"All I ask is just to get my life back together and to not allow this man to win because that would be the height of abuse."

According to figures, more than 23,00 British girls are circumcised every year. Medical groups, trade unions and human rights organisations estimate that there are 66,000 UK victims of FGM in the UK and more than 24,000 girls under 15 are at risk. Victims can be just a few weeks old.

Despite previous UK and Scottish Government promises to stop FGM, experts have warned that not only are girls still being taken abroad to be cut during the holiday “cutting season” but some are being mutilated in Britain.

As the summer holiday season starts, young girls are often taken abroad by relatives to undergo the procedure, which has been illegal in Scotland since 1985.

Ilesanmi's husband has previously denied allegations of domestic abuse. He also denies that he is supportive of FGM.