X Factor star faces deportation

2010-10-06 12:53

London - One of the favourites to win the popular X Factor singing competition faces deportation from Britain, the Home Office said on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe-born Gamu Nhengu, 18, was surprisingly booted off the show at the weekend, prompting criticism of Cheryl Cole, the judge who made the decision, and triggering a Facebook campaign that drew more than 200 000 supporters.

Nhengu's failure also made it on to the front pages of Britain's popular tabloid newspapers.

Immigration officials confirmed that Nhengu's mother had been refused permission to stay in Britain. The family is living in Scotland. "The applications made by Ms Ngazana and her family were considered in line with the published immigration rules," the Home Office said in a statement.

"Ms Ngazana's application was refused as it did not meet all of the conditions for approval. Her family, who had applied as her dependants, were therefore also refused.

"Where people are found to have no right to remain in the UK we expect them to leave voluntarily."

It was not clear whether Cole made her controversial decision in the knowledge that there were issues with Nhengu's immigration status.