Bel Trew is a reporter with The Times. Picture: Twitter

Cairo - Egyptian authorities have arrested a British journalist and expelled her as part of an escalating crackdown on media ahead of this month's presidential elections.

Saturday's statement by The Times newspaper in London said that Bel Trew had been detained and faced "sufficiently outlandish" threats before she was expelled in late February.

The British daily says attempts to bring about Trew's safe return to Cairo to cover the elections have been made but to no avail.

Trew says she had been listed as a persona non-grata and that Cairo authorities threatened to re-arrest her if she attempts to return.

Egypt has detained, jailed and prosecuted journalists under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led the military's 2013 overthrow of an elected Islamist president.

Egypt ranks near the bottom of press freedom indexes.

AP