A cabinet minister has refused to commit to the UK staying as a signatory to the United Nations refugee convention following a controversial speech in the US by Suella Braverman on migration.
The home secretary has faced severe criticism over her comments in Washington DC on Tuesday, where she said being gay or a woman should not be enough to gain asylum.
Politics live: Braverman under fire for asylum speech
Appearing on Sky News, Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer defended the remarks, saying "fearing discrimination is different" from someone's life being at risk.
She failed to commit to the convention repeatedly, telling Sky News' Kay Burley: "It is up to all countries to look at where the conventions that were signed a number of years ago are [and] as they are interpreted today whether they are still doing the job they are enacted to do."
But she did say: "I think that those conventions are really important."
The Refugee Convention was established in 1951 following the horrors of the Second World War, and was designed to protect those who face serious threats to their life or freedom.
It sets out an internationally recognised definition of a refugee and outlines the legal protections they are entitled to, along with their rights and any assistance that should be given.
The UK has been a long-standing signatory to the convention.
However, Ms Braverman has now questioned whether courts have redefined asylum to be granted for people suffering "discrimination" instead of "persecution" - especially in the context of someone who is gay or a woman.
"Where individuals are being persecuted, it is right that we offer sanctuary," she said.
"But we will not be able to sustain an asylum system if, in effect, simply being gay, or a woman, and fearful of discrimination in your country of origin, is sufficient to qualify for protection."
Her remarks have been condemned by the United Nations' refugee agency - the UNHCR - which oversees the convention, saying the agreement "remains as relevant today as when it was adopted in providing an indispensable framework for addressing those challenges, based on international co-operation".
The home secretary was also criticised by musician and campaigner Sir Elton John, who said she risked "further legitimising hate and violence" against LGBT+ people.
And Labour peer Lord Dubs - who came to the UK on the kindertransport as a child in 1939 - accused of of "trying to blame other people for her own failures and the failures of her government.
He told Sky News: "This is not the way to behave. I think she is covering up for the complete incompetence of the Home Office in the way they are handling refugees, and I don't think ministers should go abroad and attack this country.
"[The government] wants to hype up the argument on refugees as part of an election winning strategy. I think that is really shabby."
Asked by Kay Burley if the government was committed to the convention, Culture Secretary Ms Frazer said: "What [Ms Braverman] was saying was... uncontrolled illegal immigration is an international problem, it is a global problem that needs global solutions, and you will know as a government we are absolutely committed to that.
"International agreements are really important, they are part of the bedrock of our international cooperation, but what the home secretary was talking about was the fact that when that UN convention of 1951 was formed it was all about persecution, and immigration was nowhere near the levels it is today.
"And what she was talking about was that case law has interpreted the 1951 convention through a much looser definition and now what we are getting is economic migrants coming here as well as those who are suffering persecution.
"And what she was saying is that is something we should be thinking about internationally and I do think that we need international solutions to these issues."
She continually refused to commit to staying in the convention.
Asked if a gay person fearing for their life should be able to seek asylum in the UK, she replied: "So if someone is fearing... if someone is at a threat of losing their life and is at risk of persecution and being killed, then of course they should be seeking refuge.
"If they are fearing discrimination... that is different."
Ms Frazer added: "I think this is very clear that if someone is being persecuted, in terms of they're going to lose their life, then that is what the convention was there for.
"[Ms Braverman] was distinguishing between discrimination and fear of discrimination and fearing for your life in terms of persecution."
Asked for a response after the interview, a Number 10 spokesperson said: "We are committed to all our international conventions."