MSPs call for Springburn teenage orphan's grandmother to be granted permanent UK residency

Cross-party MSPs have urged the Home Office to grant the kinship carer of a teenage orphan in Springburn the right to live in the UK for the rest of her life.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 11:12 am
Scottish Parliament members have called for action over controversial decision on grandmother's future. Ketino Baikhadze and her grandson Giorgi Kakava, with Paul Sweeney MSP.
Scottish Parliament members have called for action over controversial decision on grandmother's future. Ketino Baikhadze and her grandson Giorgi Kakava, with Paul Sweeney MSP.

They said Ketino Baikhadze must be granted the same “permanent leave to remain” status as her 13-year-old grandson, Giorgi Kakava, so she can continue looking after him.

The 61-year-old’s residency permit has only been extended for 30 months and she could still be forced to return to Georgia, the country of their birth.

Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrat and Green MSPs made the point by signing a motion which congratulates Rev Brian Casey and members of Springburn Parish Church in Glasgow who campaigned to prevent Giorgi, the son of an asylum seeker, from being deported.

It was lodged at Holyrood by Glasgow MSP Paul Sweeney who has worked with the Church along with Bob Doris, MSP for Glasgow Springburn and Maryhill, to secure a just outcome for the boy who was 10 when his mother, Sopio, died in early 2018.

The politician said he is committed to continuing to work with the Home Office to secure permanent leave to remain status for Mrs Baikhadze.

Giorgi has described the 30-month ruling as "very unfair" and said he did not know what he would do if his grandmother was "sent away.”

The motion commends Giorgi's primary school and secondary school friends and teachers for supporting him and his grandmother.

They have also had the backing of volunteers who run community projects from the church building.

The Church is a member of the “Together With Refugees” coalition which says two in every three women and children that the UK would accept as refugees now, would be turned away in future under the new rules.

The coalition is calling for a more humane, fair and compassionate approach to people seeking protection in the UK.

Giorgi was three-years-old when he and his mother, Sopio Baikhadze, fled to Glasgow in 2011.

She feared gangsters whom her late husband owed a debt to would kill him or sell him to sex traffickers. Sadly, Sopio (35) passed away awaiting asylum appeal result.