Support for family in immigration plight

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin
Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has given the support of the Scottish Government to an Inverurie family facing a battle with the Home Office to remain in the UK.

The Connolly family is currently appealing on behalf of mum and wife Carin who has been denied an application for a visa to remain in Scotland.

Mrs Connolly has cared for her husband David for the past 32 years after he was made quadriplegic following an accident.

The couple moved from Africa two years ago to live with their son Marcus, who has lived and worked in Aberdeenshire since 2010.

The case has been raised by Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin after she was contacted by the family.

Following a front page article in the Daily Record, the politician was commended for her support of the family by the First Minister.

During First Minister’s Questions, Nicola Sturgeon said: “My heart goes out to Mr and Mrs Connolly and I hope they get the opportunity to stay here as a family in Scotland.

“I have complete sympathy for anybody attempting to navigate the increasingly complex and restrictive UK Immigration system. The one size fits all approach instigated by Westminster is arbitrary and it’s very often inhuman, particularly in cases which threaten to rip families apart.

“Increasingly, every day just now, we hear more and more stories of lives being disrupted across the country by these disastrous policies.

“We want to welcome people to come and live here and to contribute to communities and not to threaten to force them to leave once they settle.

“So if there is anything the Scottish Government can do to help Gillian Martin argue this case I will see that we do it but I wanted to take the opportunity to wish Mr and Mrs Connolly well and give them the message that the vast majority of people in Scotland welcome them here and want them to stay in our country.”

Commenting, Gillian Martin said: “I would like to thank the First Minister for her support for this horrific situation involving Mr and Mrs Connolly.

“I will do everything I can to help support the family and have already written in support of their appeal and to the First Minister to assist in any way I can.

“To deport Mrs Connolly, whose whole life is now here with her family and her husband who she cares for round the clock, beggars’ belief.

“I am urging the Home Office to look at this case again, rather than cruelly break up a family who deserve to be together.”