Women in communities in Britain with roots in countries where female genital mutilation is practised fear that a push for more prosecutions of FGM cases is being used to score political points before a general election next year, a U.N. expert on violence against women said.

Britain made FGM a criminal offence in 1985, but did not tackle the issue vigorously for many years and announced only last month the first prosecution - of a doctor accused of performing FGM on a patient after she had given birth at a London hospital.

Rashida Manjoo, U.N. special rapporteur on violence against women, said she had met mothers and daughters from communities affected by FGM during a 16-day visit to Britain.

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