A BRITISH man whose wife of 27 years was deported to Singapore on Sunday has accused the Government of underhand tactics.

Grandmother Irene Clennell has now been flown to the city-state in South-East Asia, 7,000 miles away from her current home in County Durham.

She has been married to John Clennell since 1990, was previously given indefinite leave to stay but has fallen foul of immigration law due to lengthy periods in her homeland.

Now Mrs Clennell has got 28 days to appeal.

Mr Clennell, 50, who lives in Ouston, near Chester-le-Street, believes the weekend flight was designed to make sure the move could not be stopped.

The former gas engineer said: “I went up to see her on Friday with my sister and my mother and then on Sunday she called to say they had taken her to the airport.

“It gave us little chance to speak to anyone to get it stopped. 

“She is back in Singapore. I have only spoken to her by text. She is devastated. 

“It is a disgrace and underhand doing it on a Sunday without any warning. I think they have done it then so there was no help for her to be able to stop it.”

Mrs Clennell, who has two sons, aged 27 and 25, and a granddaughter in the North-East, married her husband in London but has spent long periods in Singapore caring for her sick parents who have since died.

She had been held in a Dungavel House Removal Centre in Lanarkshire following her arrest at an immigration office in Middlesbrough in January. 

Mr Clennell added: “I am not sure where she is going to go at the minute. It is wrong what they have done.

“She has 28 days to lodge and out of country appeal so I have contacted the lawyers in Scotland to ask for the paperwork to be sent back to my house so I can get it forwarded over to Irene as soon as possible. She should be allowed to come back. 

“She has got no clothes or anything. Even when the transferred her from Middlesbrough to Dungavel House they could have stopped by to collect her belongings and they haven’t even done that. They have sent her back with nothing. All she has is the clothes on her back.”

The Home Office has said Mrs Clennell has spent the majority of her life, and her married life, living in Singapore.

It was deemed she will not face any reintegration issues upon her return.

Ms Clennell was granted indefinite leave to remain in 1992 but this lapsed after she went on to live outside the UK for more than two years. 

She last entered the country as a visitor in 2013 and went on to make an application to remain as the spouse of her husband, which was refused and her appeal rights were exhausted on July 10, 2014.

Since then she has had no legal basis to remain in the country.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “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.”

An online appeal to support Mrs Clennell with a legal challenge has raised over £40,000.

  • You can visit the GoFundMe page here