Mr Starkey, The Times Africa Correspondent, was forced out of the country on December 9 after spending over 24 hours in detention at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi.
He was grilled by the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit, stripped of his phone, denied access to a lawyer and his photos taken by force.
In a hard-hitting editorial, The Times on Thursday also said that the “harassment” of Mr Starkey was “minor compared with the treatment meted out to critical local reporters.
RULE OF LAW
“If it wants to be taken seriously, the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta must abide by the rule of law. This arbitrary deportation has unnerved all foreign correspondents in the country.”
It is a view echoed by many international human rights groups and press freedom watchdogs such as Article 19, Amnesty International and the Committee to Protect Journalists whose recent report said that in Kenya, “a combination of legal and physical harassment makes it increasingly difficult for journalists to work freely.”
It also comes just days after fractious scenes in the Kenyan Parliament during a debate on changing the electoral laws to allow manual vote-counting for next year's presidential election which were described as “chaos” by the BBC.
Last week, Mr Starkey said that the reason he was deported was for his journalistic coverage of the “endemic corruption” in Kenya coupled with a “culture of impunity” for those responsible.
The Times says that some people “are concerned that the Kenyatta presidency is beginning to mimic the political repression and nest-feathering ….of (former) President Daniel arap Moi.”
It notes that Mr Starkey was deported at the time that he “was looking into the possibility that members of the political establishment had diverted funds from a Eurobond issue.”
It also notes that Transparency International in its recent report had criticised the “shrinking media space, lack of public access to information and a judiciary lacking in independence.”
But The Times also said that the British government also should “break its silence” over the matter and the Foreign Office should be prepared to “publicly state its concerns.”
Western diplomats were at pains recently to state their neutrality with regard to the forthcoming presidential election and The Times says that London “maybe reluctant to rock the boat or alienate its contacts in the Kenyan leadership.”
But the newspaper stresses that the UK government must be prepared to stand up for press freedom and “demonstrate to the Kenyan people that Britain cares about and is ready to fight for good governance.”