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Deportation of Isleworth Down's syndrome man 'inhumane' says MP

Business secretary Vince Cable accuses the Home Office of wasting taxpayers' money trying to send Wadih Chouery back to Beirut, where his family say his life would be in danger

Wadih Chouery at his family's cafe, Joseph's Patisserie, in Isleworth

Attempts to deport a man with Down's syndrome to Lebanon have been labelled 'inhumane' by business secretary Vince Cable.

Wadih Chouery lives in Twickenham but is a popular figure at his family's café Joseph's Patisserie in Isleworth, where he has helped out since coming to the UK from Beirut 17 years ago.

The 44-year-old has severe learning disabilities and struggles to carry out basic tasks but his family say they have always supported him and never claimed any benefits.

However, the Home Office wants to deport him to Beirut, where his brothers say there is no one to care for him.

Nearly 78,000 people have signed a petition calling on home secretary Theresa May to allow him to stay, which the family plans to present shortly to the government.

Twickenham MP Mr Cable, who has supported the family throughout their battle, said the Home Office's stance was particularly perverse at a time when the Foreign Office is advising travellers to steer clear of parts of Beirut due to the threat from Islamist terrorists.

"I'm going to try to secure a meeting with the immigration minister (James Brokenshire MP) to persuade him this isn't a very good use of British taxpayers' money," he told getwestlondon.

"This is someone who at no stage has made any claims on taxpayers' money and sending him to Beirut would be inhumane.

"For people genuinely concerned about immigration abuse this would be a very bad case to be taking up. He would have no support mechanism at all there."

Camil Chouery said a date had yet to be set for the family's appeal against his brother's deportation to be heard at the Court of Appeal.

But he added that the family were touched by the public's support and Wadih was 'doing well', despite the threat of deportation hanging over him.

Wadih's case is supported by members of the Old Isleworth Four Roads Residents' Association, whose chairman Colin Marsh said: "If he is forced to return to Beirut it is unlikely he will survive as he is unable to care for himself as, due to his mental disability, he is naïve, childlike and innocent."

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