The Home Secretary has been urged to take a “personal interest” in the immigration row surrounding X Factor contestant Gamu Nhengu.

The BBC News website reports that Scotland’s Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop has expressed her concerns over the situation in a letter to Theresa May, in which she has asked for all options to be explored.

The teenage singer – who was knocked out of the show at the judges’ houses stage – is facing deportation along with her family back to her home country of Zimbabwe after her mother’s visa application was rejected.

Ms Hyslop reportedly said in her letter that Gamu had the potential to be a “great asset” to Scotland’s cultural community.

Gamu has demonstrated that she is a hugely talented singer,” she said.

“I would strongly urge you to take a personal interest in the family’s circumstances, to ensure that all relevant factors are properly and fully considered, so that any options which would allow them to stay in Scotland are fully explored.”

Gamu has said that she plans to appeal the decision, with the papers reporting on Saturday that Simon Cowell’s lawyers had stepped in to help.

Meanwhile, the 18-year-old has given her first interview since being told she and her family face deportation – and said that being on The X Factor had “wrecked” her life.

“If I hadn’t been on the show everything would be fine,” she told the News Of The World. “I believe it made the difference.

“The Home Office said everything was fine. But then Boot Camp was screened and there were these problems.

“It’s so unfair because we feel shamed for doing nothing wrong,” Gamu added.
“I feel I should be able to stay. But from the minute I started the whole thing it seems like there were people out there who just didn’t want me to make it.

“I want to be someone and do something. I wanted to go to university. I wanted to study philosophy. I wanted to be a writer or musician.

“I’m not going to mince my words, all those hopes are going to die. I’m going to have to start from scratch. If they send me back I’m never going to get that opportunity. I feel like my life would have ended.”