Mr. Stephen Purcell
[address removed]
London N1

Tel: [removed]
E-mail: [removed]

Tuesday 29th June 2004

Dear Mr. Smith,

My wife and I would like to thank you for all your support in our efforts for her to be granted leave to remain in the UK as my spouse.  As frustrating as the process has been, it has greatly relieved our stress to know that you have been helping us.

I am rather surprised at the replies you have received from Mr. Browne.  The latest reply, in particular, states explicitly that at the time my wife's application for further leave to remain was received by the Home Office in February, it was possible to make such applications in-country; only after the end of March did the rules change in order to 'justify' refusal of her application on the grounds cited.  Indeed, at the time our application was made we were clearly told that an in-country application could be considered.  Therefore, we appear to have suffered rejection primarily as a result of the delay in processing the application.

That we should be instructed to leave the country in order to fulfil the requirements of apparently ad-hoc bureacracy appears to me quite absurd.

Our daughter was born on the first of June, much to our delight.  I am not willing to have my wife and breast-fed daughter travel out of the country at this stage in order to apply to return.  While gone for an indeterminate period and at significant expense and distress, neither will have recourse to medical treatment should it be necessary, and our daughter has yet to be immunised against the common infant diseases.

We are considering a number of options.  Firstly, I am investigating the practicalities of promptly repatriating my family, to which end I shall probably need to find new employment.  Secondly, we are investigating the consequences of simply failing to obtain further leave for my wife to remain, which at least would allow us more time to prepare for our departure.

In the light of the evident inflexibility of the Home Office, we will be writing to the Prime Minister and potentially to representatives of the media.  I expect that you will be unable to help us further, unless perhaps you would be willing to refer the matter to the Prime Minister on our behalf.

In any further dealings with this issue, I shall be sure to emphasise the degree to which you have assisted us.  Thank you once again.


Stephen Purcell