...and brilliant Brownlees start the gold rush
THE reason why instances of sham marriages are on the increase across Leeds is a simple one – the people concerned will go to extraordinary lengths to circumvent Britain’s immigration rules.
The numbers concerned are no longer trivial. According to the Home Affairs Select Committee, an estimated 10,000 wedding ceremonies are conducted each year in Britain under false pretences – despite the success of registrars in Leeds in identifying bogus marriages before they have taken place.
In many respects, Ministers will say these statistics are a vindication of their continuing efforts to cut illegal immigration and the loopholes left unchecked by the last Labour government.
Yet the fact of the matter is that the organisation of sham marriages is “an industry of deceit” – the stark conclusion of the committee’s chairman Keith Vaz – which is undermining the institution of marriage because of complacency on the part of the Home Office.
It is why the law should be changed so registrars can cancel a wedding if they believe the ceremony is a sham – they should not have to wait for the Home Office’s enforcement team to investigate.
It should also be far easier to deport those individuals who participate in sham weddings.
Both are helpful suggestions that now need to be embraced by Home Secretary Theresa May.
Brilliant Brownlees start the gold rush
YORKSHIRE’S medal tally is up and running at the Commonwealth Games thanks to Leeds wonder boys Alistair and Jonny Brownlee.
Yesterday’s triathlon showed brotherly love only goes so far in what was a brilliantly ruthless performance from Alistair in claiming Commonwealth gold to add to his European, World and Olympic titles.
And although it was exhausting just watching, after crossing the finish line he looked as though he could complete another one.
Now let’s hope the Bramhope boys add another gold tomorrow in the team event, with the likes of Leeds boxing champ Nicola Adams continuing the gold rush.