Former Ipswich mayor Inga Lockington gets her British Citizenship
- Credit: Archant
Former Ipswich mayor Inga Lockington has finally been granted British citizenship after a frustrating battle with the Home Office.
Danish-born Mrs Lockington has lived in Britain since she married her husband Tim in 1979 – and has been a member of Ipswich council and Suffolk County Council for nearly 20 years. She was mayor of her adopted town in 2007/8.
However as an EU citizen she had never felt the need to apply for British citizenship because – until the Brexit vote in 2016 put the future status of EU national into doubt.
She decided to apply for UK citizenship last year – but was given inaccurate information about how she should make the application and she was initially turned down because Home Office staff said there was not enough evidence that she had strong links to this country.
After we publicised her rejection, the Home Office did a u-turn and said because she had lived in the UK for years before the Maastricht Treaty, her initial permission to live in the UK indefinitely meant she should be given citizenship.
She was formally presented with Citizenship at Ipswich Register Office by Judge John Devaux along with about 20 other people.
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Mrs Lockington said: “It was wonderful to finally get the citizenship after all the delays – and I liked seeing all the other new British citizens there.
“It was clear many of them were from the Windrush Generation or were the children of people who came over then – and getting full citizenship clearly meant a great deal to them.”
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One aspect of the ceremony amused her: “We were given a welcome on behalf of Suffolk County Council. I felt I already know quite a bit about that authority!” She has been a member of council since 2001.
And with the ceremony taking place on Wednesday morning, it gave Mrs Lockington an extra impetus to support the England team in the World Cup semi-final!
She said: “I’m glad they’re not playing Denmark tonight – but we’ll certainly be willing them into the final tonight and beyond. But I can now support two teams playing in red and white!
Her position in Britain is now guaranteed – and she will be able to walk through passport queues with her husband once there are separate lines for EU and UK citizens after Brexit comes in.