Deportation of gala princess denounced as 'cynical ploy'

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Indy Politics

A couple from Mongolia, whose deportation was halted by the Home Office four weeks ago after it threatened to deprive their daughter of her year as Liverpool's gala princess have been told they must leave Britain.

A couple from Mongolia, whose deportation was halted by the Home Office four weeks ago after it threatened to deprive their daughter of her year as Liverpool's gala princess have been told they must leave Britain.

Four weeks after the Immigration minister, Des Browne, agreed to stop their deportation, Jugder and Shinee Narantsogt have been refused an appeal against the initial rejection of their asylum claim and told they must return to Mongolia with their daughter Misheel, nine, and son Evsaana, 17.

The brief stay of deportation had enabled the family to leave the Dungavel detention centre in Lanarkshire, Scotland, and return to Liverpool, where Misheel was crowned gala princess before a crowd of 40,000 in the city's Lord Mayor's Parade 10 days ago.

Aamer Anwar, a human rights lawyer, claimed yesterday that the Home Office's decision to release the family now appeared a "cynical ploy", to avert the embarrassment of the child missing the parade. "It was a publicity disaster to have this little parade princess locked up and now things have died down [the Home Office] want to sneak them out on the quiet," he said.

The Home Office refuses to discuss individual cases. But it is clear the Narantsogts' appeal was rejected because their new grounds for seeking asylum were not considered sufficiently different from the initial claim. Mr Anwar said international publicity about the Narantsogts' case means they would face increased threat of reprisals if they were repatriated. Mr Narantsogt, 38, a civil engineer, says he was repeatedly threatened by Communists at home after founding a provincial branch of the opposition Democratic Union party in Sukhe- baatar province.

Mr Anwar told the Home Office yesterday that the family's story had been on the front page of their country's national newspaper, The Mongol News, detailing Mr Narantsogt's history as a dissident politician. "This marks him out as an individual who may now find himself persecuted," Mr Anwar said.

He also revealed that Mrs Narantsogt, an English teacher, has had a second abnormal result from a smear test and should remain in the UK on health grounds. At the family's home in Kirkdale, north Liverpool, Mrs Narantsogt, 37, said: "We are terrified. We are afraid they will come any moment. It seems everything is lost and we don't have a chance to stay."

The popular family have thrown themselves into Liverpool life. Misheel has settled into St John's primary, excelling at painting, singing and dancing. Her English is good. Evsaana is studying English at Hugh Baird College in Bootle and has made a new circle of friends through five-a-side football.

The family's Labour MP, Joe Benton, called the Home Office's rejection "deplorable". Louise Ellman, the Liverpool Riverside Labour MP, is also calling on the Home Office to reconsider.

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