UK finally lets its national sleeping on streets in Europe come home – but charges him £100
A British man left sleeping on foreign streets after being locked out of the UK by the Home Office has finally been allowed to return – but been charged £100 to replace the passport they confiscated.
Fatush Lala, 33, has been living rough in Brussels for more than three weeks after UK authorities voided his citizenship and blocked his passport while he was abroad on holiday with his family.
But hours after The Independent reported on Lala's plight he received a phonecall from officials saying he could come back.
"I went to the British embassy and they printed out the passport for me. But first I had to pay a fee of £100 for it," said Mr Lala, who has lived in Britain since he was 14 and naturalised.
The British national had previously gone to the UK embassy in the city to seek help, only to be told his British passport – the only one he has ever owned – was no longer valid and have it confiscated from him, leaving him stateless for weeks.
The department did not notify Lala his passport had been cancelled before he left the country, instead sending a letter to an address he had never lived it. It then did not stop him leaving the country, only preventing him from getting back in when he tried to board a flight home from Brussels.