Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

X Factor Gamu wins deportation case

Former X Factor hopeful Gamu Nhengu and her family have won their appeal against deportation

Former X Factor hopeful Gamu Nhengu and her family have won their appeal against deportation, her lawyer has said.

Gamu, 19, currently lives with her two brothers and mother Nokuthula Ngazana in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, but they feared they would be sent back to Zimbabwe after a court ruling.

Earlier this year the teenager's relatives were refused leave to stay in the UK by the Home Office following a decision passed at the Immigration Court in Glasgow, but they have now heard an appeal against the decision has been successful.

The Home Office now has five days to appeal against the decision, which was granted in accordance with their right to a private and family life as set out in the European Convention on Human Rights.

The family's lawyer, Frances Farrell, said in a statement: "We are delighted to announce that the court has allowed Gamu, her brothers' and her mother's appeal. If the Home Office accepts the decision of the court, then my clients will be granted leave to remain in the UK. The Home Office have a five working day limit to appeal and we hope they do not exercise that right.

"My clients are all delighted with the decision, it's the first great news they've had for months."

Gamu shot to fame on last year's X Factor competition when she was controversially kicked off the show by judge Cheryl Cole during the boot-camp round.

The move to deport her family came in February after allegations that her mother, a nurse, had wrongly claimed working tax credits. The family has always contested the allegation, which was successfully appealed against at a private hearing.

MP Gordon Banks, who represents Ochil and South Perthshire where Gamu is a constituent, said: "This is really good news not only for the family, but also for the local community in which the family played such a vital role. It's particularly pleasing to see that common sense has prevailed and that we have the ability in the UK to take decisions which are morally right.

"I hope the Home Office don't exercise their right to appeal this decision and that the family will be allowed to get on with their lives and continue to contribute to society."

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