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Newspaper fights to keep grandmother in UK

A tragic accident which left two children motherless has sparked a newspaper campaign calling for their gran to be allowed to stay in the UK.

Mary Joseph came to Portsmouth from India last September to care for her two grandchildren after their mother was killed by a lorry in the city three months earlier.

The Home Office has not recognised her contribution to the family and refused her a permanent visa, sparking the Let Her Stay campaign by The News.

The 66-year-old now faces being sent back to India despite the fact her two grandchildren, aged five and nine, would have no-one to care for them.

Their father Jose works six days a week, so relies heavily on his mother’s help after his 39-year-old wife was killed.

The story is even creating headlines in the family’s homeland with The Times of India among several news organisations highlighting the campaign while TV channel Times Now visited The News’ offices to interview editor Mark Waldron

Mark told HoldtheFrontPage: “When we covered the original story about the accident, it really hit home with the local community.

“There was a big shrine with flowers and the church raised funds to have her body flown home to India.

“It was welcomed that Mary Joseph came back with her son to stand in and she was doing everything she could.

“It was clear that Mary was being a surrogate mum so it seemed a ridiculous decision by the Home Office to say they didn’t think she was playing her part.

“We know the trauma the family has gone through so we’re doing anything we can.”

Since launching the campaign, The News has run daily stories highlighting the family’s plight as well as a petition both online and in print.

It has so far amassed at least 800 signatures with the number growing rapidly while the campaign has received widespread backing from the local community.