Singapore woman married to British man for 27 years deported from the UK

Mrs Clennell
Mrs Clennell

A woman married to a British man for 27 years has been deported to Singapore.

Irene Clennell was being held in a Scottish detention centre, but told the BBC she has been sent back to her country of origin without warning.

She had been living near Durham with her husband, and has two British sons, as well as a granddaughter, in the UK.

Periods spent abroad caring for her parents are thought to have invalidated her residential status. The Home Office does not comment on individual cases.

Mrs Clennell told the BBC she was put in a van and taken to the airport from the Dungavel Detention Centre in South Lanarkshire on Saturday.

She had been held at the facility since the start of February.

She told the BBC she was unable to contact her lawyer and did not have the chance to get any clothes from her home.

Mrs Clennell, who had been living in Chester-le-Street, was given indefinite leave to remain in the UK after her marriage.

She says she has made repeated attempts – both in Singapore and in the UK – to re-apply for permission to live with her husband.

Mrs Clennell says her husband is in poor health and she has become his principal carer.

A Home Office spokesman said: “All applications for leave to remain in the UK are considered on their individual merits and in line with the immigration rules.

“We expect those with no legal right to remain in the country to leave.”

The charity Migrant Voice says a campaign is starting to bring her back to Britain.

Director Nazek Ramadan said her case was “yet another example of how arbitrary policies tear apart families and ruin lives”.

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