The leafy substance, grown by many Kenyan farmers, was of economic and cultural significance to many Africans, MP Florence Kajuju told the BBC. The UK government has decided, against the advice of its own experts, to treat khat as a class C drug to "protect vulnerable members of our communities".

It is traditionally used by Ethiopian, Kenyan, Somali and Yemeni communities.The mildly narcotic leaf is already banned in most of Europe and in a number of other countries, including the US and Canada.

Ms Kajuju led a team of Kenyan MPs to the UK to lobby the government not to follow suit. In July, UK Home Secretary Theresa May said khat would be banned "at the earliest possible opportunity" but a ban has yet to be imposed.

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