Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Gamu lawyer to appeal deportation

Gamu Nhengu's family lawyer says she will appeal a deportation decision

The lawyer representing X Factor reject Gamu Nhengu and her family has said she will appeal against plans to deport them.

The singer, who was booted off the show at the weekend, has been told she must return to her homeland of Zimbabwe after her mother's visa application was turned down.

But Frances Farrell said she was preparing to lodge an appeal to an immigration tribunal.

She said: "My client has lived here for eight years, always legally and on proper visas.

"I'm now certain there is grounds to put in an appeal."

Gamu and her family had been told they did not have a right of appeal and must leave the UK by their own accord or face deportation.

Her controversial axing from the X Factor last weekend caused a storm among viewers, with more than 240,000 fans signing up to a Facebook page called Gamu Should Have Got Through, in protest at judge Cheryl Cole's decision to leave Gamu out of the final 12.

Show bosses have already denied suggestions Cheryl was influenced by visa issues. A spokeswoman said: "We are supporting Gamu and her family during this difficult time."

Fans have also started a petition calling on the Government to "reconsider the deportation of Gamu Nhengu and her family". More than 1,300 people have signed it since it was set up yesterday.

The teenager's mother Nokuthula Ngazana had been allowed to stay in the UK while she studied at university, with Nhengu permitted to remain in the country as her dependant. But Ms Ngazana's application to remain in the country was turned down, with the UK Border Agency saying it did not "meet all of the conditions for approval".

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