Fundraising drive for deported woman passes £30k

Irene Clennell
Irene Clennell
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A mother-of-two deported despite living in Britain for 30 years has hit out at the government, saying they have treated her like a terrorist and accused her of being violent.

Irene Clennell, 53, who is the main carer for her British husband John, was placed in Dungavel immigration detention centre in South Lanarkshire before being deported to Singapore on Sunday.

Mrs Clennell, who lived in County Durham and has two sons and a granddaughter, had just £12 in her pocket and no change of clothes when she was removed from the country.

She says the Home Office lied to her by promising someone would meet her in Singapore but they never did and they ticked a box on a form handed to her which says she has been violent and disruptive.

“It is a bloody disgrace, they treat me like a terrorist and anything else under the sun.

“They embarrass me in front of everybody, the only thing I did wrong was marry a British man and want to stay in the country with my kids and my husband,” she said.

“I have never done wrong to anybody, all I want is my family and this is what I get.”

She said: “I had to call my sister to ask her to put me up for a few days because what they told me was a lie. They said they would help me get a job and integrate me into Singapore society and it was all a lie.”

In response, her family set up a GoFundMe page to help raise legal fees for her case, which has now passed £30,000.

Sister-in-law Angela Clennell said: “It’s appalling and I think it’s a disgrace, especially when they have been married for nearly 30 years.

“We are all in a state of shock after they took Irene away.”

Mrs Clennell arrived in the UK in 1988, but spent periods of time back in Singapore to care for her parents before they died, which may have led to the deportation.

It is thought she has lost her leave to remain as a result of the government’s spousal visa system, which requires the British partner to prove earnings of at least £18,600 and the couple being able to demonstrate long stretches of uninterrupted time living in the UK.