Leeds pupils’ letters beg Home Secretary to let Portas stay

Portas Ongondo
Portas Ongondo
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Youngsters devastated by news that their caretaker is being kicked out of the UK are writing to the Home Secretary in a desperate bid to reverse the decision.

Portas Ongondo, superintendent at Collingham Lady Elizabeth Hastings School, is preparing to return to Kenya after losing his fight to remain in Britain.

Parents and members of the local community fought a determined campaign, gathering more than 1,000 signatures on a petition supporting his right to stay.

And a school assembly where pupils were told Mr Ongondo would not be returning to his job there, spurred the children into action.

Siobhan Riley said: “My son Oliver Riley, who is eight, and a number of other schoolchildren have taken it upon themselves to write directly to Theresa May in an attempt to ask that she reconsider the decision that has been made by the Government to deport Portas.

“They cannot comprehend why somebody they think so highly of in the school should be taken away from them. My son asked ‘What has Portas done wrong and why are they sending him home?’”

The 55-year-old’s right to live and work in the UK was dependent upon his relationship with his wife, which has broken down.

The Government’s decision means he must leave his three grown-up sons behind in the UK.

However, he plans to apply for a new visa from Kenya.

His supporters have now launced a fundraising campaign to help Mr Ongondo fund his journey home and settle once he arrives.

Hand in donations in sealed envelopes to the reception at Lady Hastings School in Collingham. To back his battle, go to www.petitions24.com/portas_owino_ongondo_right_to_remain_in_the_uk_2

PIC: Simon Hulme

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