Grandmother deported after 27 years in Britain

The fight to return to her family's side is not yet over for Singaporean Irene Clennell, despite her deportation from Britain on Sunday (Feb 27).

Clennell spent too long out of the country while looking after her dying parents in Singapore, which meant she lost her leave to remain.

Having exhausted all other options, Ms Clennell relied on visitor visas for several months before she was detained, while she tried to find an alternative.

The Huffington Post reported that her husband, John, suspected she was deported out-of-hours on Sunday to prevent a legal challenge.

"My family is in the UK".

Speaking on a phone provided by one of her flight escorts, she described how suddenly events had unfolded: "They just came to get me this morning and said they've already given me a chance".

She says she has nowhere to stay in Singapore, where her sister still lives but can not put her up, and only £12 in her pocket.

She has made repeated attempts - both in the Singapore and in the United Kingdom - to re-apply for permission to live with her husband, who she said is in poor health and needs her as his carer.

Mrs Clennel first arrived in London in 1988 and married her husband John, a British man, two years later. "The way they treat me and the way they handled the whole thing is very degrading". "Four people are taking me to Singapore" she told Buzzfeed from a runway in Edinburgh, Scotland.

On Sunday, February 26th, Clennell was forcibly removed from the country and sent back to Singapore. "She's got no clothes, no fresh underwear and nowhere to go".

Clennell told Buzzfeed, who she spoke to on the plane before it took off, that she had just £12 in her pocket, no change of clothes and nobody to stay with in Singapore.

Her last visitor visa expired a year ago and she was sent to a detention centre in Scotland after a routine appointment with immigration service in mid-January. "I didn't even get to say goodbye properly", she said. He said, "She's got nothing with her; all her clothes are here. I need people to see what these people have done" he said.

The Home Office does not routinely comment on individual cases.

A grandmother has been deported from Britain with just £12 in her pocket despite living in the United Kingdom for 27 years.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "All applications for leave to remain in the United Kingdom are considered on their individual merits and in line with the immigration rules".

Director Nazek Ramadan said her case was "yet another example of how arbitrary policies tear apart families and ruin lives". "We expect those with no legal right to remain in the country to leave".

Her family have now set up a campaign and "Go Fund Me" page to try and get her back home.

  • Zachary Reyes