Inga Lockington finally gets UK passport – and Home Office apology
- Credit: Archant
Former Ipswich mayor Inga Lockington has won her battle for UK citizenship and an apology from the Home Office.
And her case has also led to immigration officials being given new advice on how to deal with applications for citizenship from EU nationals.
Danish-born Mrs Lockington, who sits on Ipswich council and Suffolk County Council, has been told she will be granted citizenship once she fills in forms that have been sent to her by the Home Office.
She will also apply for a UK passport so she can go through the same channel as her husband Tim at airports and seaports.
She will officially get her papers at a Citizenship Ceremony that will be held later in the year. The news comes after she initially had her application rejected because officials said they did not have evidence she lived in the UK.
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A Home Office spokesman said: “We have contacted Mrs Lockington today to advise her that, following reconsideration of her case, her citizenship application will be granted. We have also taken the opportunity to apologise to her for the initial decision.”
He said the initial rejection came because officials had not realised she had a right to citizenship because she had been given indefinite leave to remain under UK law when she married in 1979.
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The rule is different for EU citizens who moved to the UK under the free movement provisions of the Maastricht Treaty which came into force in the early 1990s – they do need to apply for a UK permanent residence card unlike those who have been here longer.
The spokesman said officials were now being reminded of the difference between the two groups of applicants in a bid to avoid any repetition of a case like Mrs Lockington’s.
She said she was hugely relieved the issue was being resolved – and praised the work of the officials who had been dealing with her application since we revealed her initial application had been turned down.
She said: “For me this is very good news. I would like to think that there are no other cases like this – I really hope the Home Office does take care over everyone’s applications.”
Mrs Lockington knew she was under no threat of deportation, but wanted her position settled before Britain leaves the EU .