By HATTY COLLIER, Evening Standard
A grandmother who has been married to a British man for 27 years has been deported from the UK to Singapore.
Irene Clennel was being held in a Scottish detention centre but has been sent back to her country of origin.
Mrs Clennel first arrived in London in 1988 and married her husband John, a British man, two years later.
They later settled in Country Durham and had two children together. The couple also have a grandchild.
Mrs Clennel had been held in the Scottish detention centre since the beginning of February.
She told the BBC she was put in a van and taken to the airport from the Dungavel Detention Centre in South Lanarkshire on Saturday without the opportunity to contact her lawyer or get any clothes from her home.
Mrs Clennel was given indefinite leave to remain in the UK after her marriage but periods spent in Singapore caring for her elderly parents appear to have invalidated her residential status.
She has made repeated attempts – both in the Singapore and in the UK – to re-apply for permission to live with her husband, who she said is in poor health and needs her as his carer.
A Home Office spokesman told the BBC: “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 spokesman added that the Home Office does not comment on individual cases.
Her sister-in-law Angela told the Guardian Mrs Clennel had been deported after being subject to “insensitive and unfair government rules”.
A GoFundMe page set up by Mrs Clennel’s sister-in-law to raise money for assistance with legal fees has received more than £15,000 in donations.