A Deptford appearance by a notorious Nigerian witch hunter has been cancelled amid calls for the controversial preacher to be banned from the UK.

Helen Ukpabio, founder of the Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries, had been due to hold her first service at The Albany last week, but the theatre cancelled the show after being made aware of their controversial guest.

The West African ministry claims Satan can use demonic possession to make children into witches and perform his work on earth.

Mrs Ukpabio is quoted as saying: "If a child under the age of two screams in the night, cries and is always feverish with deteriorating health he or she is a servant of Satan."

Campaigners have now written to the Home Secretary Theresa May urging her to ban Mrs Ukpabio, citing the case of young girl Victoria Climbie, who was tortured and murdered by her witchcraft-fearing guardians.

In a letter to Ms May, the Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network wrote: "Whilst the government has moved swiftly to block entry to the UK for Islamic preachers whose presence is considered as harmful to the public good, there have been no cases of Christian pastors facing such measures."

A spokesman for the Albany said: "A room booking by the Liberty Gospel Church for April 10 to April 12 at the Albany has been cancelled.

"We only cancel bookings in very exceptional circumstances. In this instance we were not given full information about the nature of the booking by the booker, which is at odds with our terms and conditions and ethical policies as an organisation.

"As soon as we became aware of the full details of the booking, it was cancelled and the booker was issued with a full refund."