Inga Lockington’s bid for UK citizenship under scrutiny by Home Office
- Credit: Archant
Former Ipswich mayor Inga Lockington’s attempt to become a British citizen is back on after Home Office staff contacted her to find out details of her life in this country.
Danish-born Mrs Lockington has lived in Britain since her marriage in 1979 and has been a Liberal Democrat councillor for 19 years and was mayor of Ipswich in 2007/8.
She had never become a British citizen because there was need for her to take that step because as both her homeland and the UK were in the EU she had the right to live here – but the Brexit vote prompted her to seek citizenship.
Following our revelation that this had been rejected by the Home Office who sent a letter saying they were not satisfied that she was a UK resident, officials from that department have now contacted her to try to sort out her application.
She said: “I have spoken to them and given them the dates that are relevant and they are going to look out the documents and we are going to talk again over the next few days.
“I hope it can be sorted out – but I don’t really feel it is about me. It’s about all those other people who have their applications rejected and don’t have the knowledge that I have to challenge that.”
She feared that the Home Office rules and contradictory advice she had been given could have left thousands of people unable to make valid citizenship applications.
A spokesman for the Home Office said: “We have spoken to Mrs Lockington and advised her that we are looking into her case. We will keep her updated with progress.”
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Mrs Lockington received support from all sides before and during Thursday’s full meeting of the county council in Ipswich.
She said that members from across the political spectrum had sympathised with her over lunch before the meeting – there was a sense of disbelief about her situation.
And Labour group leader Sarah Adams told the meeting that the Conservatives inability to listen at a national level had affected Mrs Lockington in her bid for British citizenship.
The leader of Mrs Lockington’s own LibDem, Green and Independent group at the county council, Andrew Stringer, told the meeting: “If there are any Home Office officials here our message is clear: You’re not having her!”