Victory for Chef Saiful Islam after 20-year fight against deportation

Ansar Ahmed Ullah
Contributing Editor,Shottobani

London: Saiful Islam, a chef originally from Bangladesh now residing in Peterborough since 2012, has spoken of his relief after finally winning a 20-year battle with the Home Office to remain in the UK. He had arrived in the UK, on a valid work permit, in 2003. But since then, he has had to put up with attempts of deportation on false pretences in 2005. Incomplete evidence was used against him in court due to the Home Office’s error of his file being mixed up with that of a sex offender with the same name.

Despite a senior judge recognising a series of major errors from the Home Office in handling his case, he was still facing deportation in 2021 after being denied a judicial review. Fighting the case took its toll on Saiful Islam, suffering from depression and difficulty in sleeping, from which he still suffers today.

Now, after 20 years of campaigning, which has included letters to the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, and members of the House of Lords alongside street protests in London with a loud hailer and the support of five Peterborough MPs, Mr Islam has finally been given leave to remain in the country.

Talking to Peterborough Telegraph in expressing his feelings Chef Islam said, “I still feel sad but this shows that honesty always wins and honesty gives you power. I did nothing wrong. I came here legally. I respect British laws and the British people and I have so many of them to thank for supporting my campaign to get me to this point.”

In 2020, The Home Office apologised to him and offered him £5,000 in compensation for its numerous blunders but has turned this offer down, so his fight continues. Chef Islam added, “I am still very upset at the Home Office. I can’t ever get the time I spent fighting this or my health back. I have suffered unfairly due to careless action and system failure.”

Despite all the difficulties he faced Chef Saiful Islam is now looking forward to the future and plans to open a new restaurant.

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