Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 3 May 2015

X Factor's Gamu told to leave UK

Gamu and her family have been told they must leave the UK voluntarily or face deportation
Gamu and her family have been told they must leave the UK voluntarily or face deportation

X Factor reject Gamu Nhengu, whose axing from the show caused a storm among viewers, has been told to leave the UK.

The teenager, kicked off the show by judge Cheryl Cole at the weekend despite being a huge hit with fans, must return to her native Zimbabwe, the UK Border Agency said.

Gamu, 18, was allowed to stay in the country as a dependant while her mother, Nokuthula Ngazana, studied at university.

But her visa has now expired and the family's application to remain has been rejected as they did not meet Home Office criteria. The family has now been told to leave the UK voluntarily or face deportation.

It is understood that the application to stay had been turned down because the family had received state benefits which had not been allowed under the visa.

A source close to the programme said the visa issues only came to light after the "judges' houses" stage of the competition. The family's lawyer may seek judicial review over the refusal.

A spokeswoman for the show said: "We are supporting Gamu and her family during this difficult time."

A Government minister has been urged to intervene in the case. Labour MP Gordon Banks said Scottish Secretary Michael Moore should "bang heads together" and take a personal look at the situation faced by Gamu, who is one of his constituents.

Ochil & South Perthshire MR Mr Banks, who believes the family should be allowed to stay in Scotland, added: "As the local MP, I am ready to help in any way but Michael Moore is the man in charge and it is he who needs to bang heads together to sort this out. I have written to him to ask him to support this case personally."

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