THE Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, and the Bishop of
Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, have joined a growing campaign to
allow the Zimbabwean grandparents of a five-year-old girl killed in
a car crash to attend her funeral.
Andrea Gada was hit by a car and died near her home in
Eastbourne in December. Her parents have been granted asylum in the
UK, but her grandparents and aunt, who live in Zimbabwe, have twice
been refused visas to visit on the grounds they might abscond and
could not demonstrate a regular income.
Dr Sentamu has written to the Prime Minister, urging him to
intervene to reverse the decision by the visa authorities. The
Gadas's case was first raised by their MP, the Liberal Democrat
Stephen Lloyd, and at his prompting the Prime Minister said that
the decision would be reviewed.
Later, however, the Home Office decided again that the Gada
grandparents and aunt would not be granted a temporary visa,
despite the pair's offering to be monitored and Mr Lloyd's pledging
personally to ensure they left the UK after their visas expire.
Now, Dr Warner has joined the chorus of condemnation. He said on
Tuesday that the moral case for allowing the grandparents to come
for the funeral was "overwhelming".
"Who would not want the grandparents of a little girl to be able
to grieve at the death of their granddaughter?" he said. "I would
be very dismayed if we were a nation who were so suspicious we had
lost our moral decency."
Dr Warner said that he had also written to all the clergy in his
diocese to ask them to email Mr Cameron on behalf of the Gadas.
A spokesman from the Home Office said: "All applications are
considered on their individual merits . . . and in line with the