Politicians have welcomed the first ever “landmark” conviction of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK.

The mother of a three-year-old girl from east London was the first to be found guilty of the act on Friday February 1 after a trial that started at the Old Bailey on January 14.

The Ugandan woman, 37, and her Ghanaian partner, 43 from Walthamstow were accused of cutting their daughter over the 2017 summer bank holiday.

Jennette Arnold, the deputy chair of the London Assembly, said: “This is a landmark conviction that finally takes the female genital mutilation law from theory to practice.

“Female genital mutilation is a dangerous and repulsive act that we should never accept. All girls and all women have a right to feel safe in London.”

The woman convicted on Friday will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on March 8.

Carrying out female genital mutilation carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.

In 2017 the NSPCC Helpline was contacted 313 times by people worried about girls who may have suffered, or are at risk of, FGM.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan also welcomed the conviction.

Mr Khan said: “Female genital mutilation is a devastating crime which affects thousands of young girls across the country.

“Today’s landmark conviction sends a clear message to those who practice this barbaric act that it will no longer go unpunished.

“Every woman and girl should be safe and feel safe wherever they are in London, and we will continue our fight to end female genital mutilation with every power we have.”