A young man, born and bred in Lancashire, is being threatened with deportation because he is not officially a British citizen.
Former Primet High School, Colne pupil Shane Ridge (21) discovered the shocking news after applying for a passport and being told he does not have an automatic right to remain in the UK.
Rather than the hoped-for passport, Shane received a letter from the Home Office informing him that his driving licence would be revoked as he had “no lawful basis to be in the UK”.
The reason, it transpires, is because his mother Sue Ebbs was born in Australia and is not married to his father.
British law states that for any child was born before July 2006, the father’s British nationality will only be relevant if he was married to the mother at the time of birth. Therefore, Shane does not have an automatic right to citizenship and is required to apply for “right of abode”.
Shane, a welder at Kirk Environmental, told Leader Times Newspapers: “My head’s all over the place, I’m nervous. It’s so surreal.”
Indeed, Shane’s surreal situation has attracted headlines around the country and on Wednesday he appeared on Good Morning Britain with his mother.
Shane told host Richard Madeley that the Home Office letter stated “that any application is not going to work and they are going to be revoking your driving licence and we can’t give you any information.”
His desperate family have now contacted Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson and other local politicians for help in his unusual but worrying plight.
Mr Stephenson said: “I’ve met with Shane to discuss his issue and promise any support I can give him.
“It’s a difficult situation but the rules are the rules. I’ve spoken to the Home Office and the DVLA to ensure that nothing drastic happens in the short-term.
“Ultimately, Shane will need the services of an immigration lawyer. I appreciate how distressing this is, it’s obviously quite an unnerving time for him and his family, but I will ensure he’s not deported or put in a detention centre.
“There are various legal routes for him to go through now. I’m sure his case will be resolved but he has to go through he correct procedure.”
Shane’s ward councillor, Lord Tony Greaves, described the situation as “a cross between a Kafka novel and something out of North Korea.”
Lord Greaves added: “Shane is a Colner to his roots. This whole situation is crackers. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so serious. In fact it is absolutely disgraceful.
“I’m contacting people I know who are experts in the field and will do everything I can to help. It’s unbelievable that a lad born in Airedale and educated in Colne is being threatened with deportation.
“It is bureaucratic casual cruelty.”