Scotland leader Sturgeon backs Zimbabwean family facing break-up and deportation

Nicola Sturgeon at FMQs at Holyrood thursday..Pic Gordon Terris/The Herald.24/10/18.

NICOLA Sturgeon has said her “heart goes out” to a paralysed man whose wife of 32 years is facing deportation to her native Zimbabwe.

The First Minister said she hoped David and Carin Connolly, who live with their son in Inverurie, would not be split up by the Home Office.

The family’s case was raised at FMQs by Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin, who described their situation as “horrific”.

Mr Connolly, 58, a British citizen, was left a quadriplegic by a car accident in 1984.

His wife Carin, 59, who was born in Zimbabwe, is his full-time carer.

After spending most of their lives in Africa, they moved to Scotland last year to be with son Marcus, who has lived here since 2010.

But the Home Office has now rejected Mrs Connolly’s application to be a British citizen.

Ms Martin said she had written in support of the couple ahead of an appeal tribunal, and asked what more could be done to support them.

Ms Sturgeon replied: “My heart goes out to Mr and Mrs Connolly, and I hope that they get the opportunity to stay as a family in Scotland.

“I have complete sympathy for anybody attempting to navigate the increasingly complex and restrictive United Kingdom immigration system.

“The one-size-fits-all approach imposed by Westminster is arbitrary, and it is very often inhuman, particularly in cases that threaten to rip apart families.”

She said “the vast majority of people in Scotland” would want the Connollys to stay. – Herald Scotland