|V for Vendetta author makes public donation to assist window cleaner, Graham Cousins’s struggle to be reunited with his Mozambican wife.|
Alan Moore donates £10,000 to help friend bring his African wife to the UK: Alan Moore, the comics legend who created the vigilante V in his acclaimed graphic novel V for Vendetta, has waded into an old friend’s battle to bring his wife to the UK, publicly donating £10,000 to Graham Cousins and expressing his “continuing incredulous disgust” over the way Cousins and his wife have been treated.
Cousins, a 60-year-old window cleaner, married his wife Paula Cousins, from Mozambique, three years ago, but the two have fallen foul of the Home Office’s minimum income threshold of £18,600 a year required for a foreign spouse to live in the UK, and Paula remains in Mozambique. Introduced in 2012, the law is estimated to have meant that 33,000 couples cannot bring their spouses in to the UK or remain with them.
“We have spent six weeks out of three years together because of this,” said Cousins. “We speak three times a day. We’re 110% genuine and we’ve proved that many times … but they keep moving the goal posts.”
|Cousins, a 60-year-old window cleaner, married his wife Paula Cousins, from Mozambique, three years ago, but the two have only spent 6 weeks with each other.|
Cousins has run his own window-cleaning business for almost 30 years, but is now part-time, meaning he does not meet the £18,600 a year minimum. He says he was therefore required to have £62,500 in savings – an amount he will have from Monday, following Moore’s donation, but which he says he has been told needs to be in his account for six months.
He has, he says, written to David Cameron twice about the issue, and has met with his local MP, to no effect. “I wake up every morning without my wife. David Cameron wakes up every morning with his wife,” he said. “I don’t support any political party – I just want my wife back.”
In Moore’s letter, he explains that he is making the gift because of his “continuing incredulous disgust over the manner in which Mr Cousins and his wife Paula have been kept separate for what is now a period of years”.
At first, writes Moore (pictured), “I found it difficult to suppose that there wasn’t some unpleasant racial issue at the heart of the continual rejections. Now, after witnessing two intervening years of what seem to me to be deliberate goalpost-moving regarding the amount Mr Cousins is expected to have in his bank account before his wife can enter the country, I am led to ask if the official cash amount demanded of those making an appeal is, simply, ‘more than they can afford’? And I ask again, if the basis for this is not racism, would somebody be kind enough to explain what this reasoning is actually based on?”
This is, ends the author, “a shameful way to run an immigration service”, and his gift of £10,000 “is made in the hope that it may contribute to breaking this wretched and inexplicable deadlock”. Cousins and Moore have known each other since their 20s. “Alan’s a good friend, and he just said ‘I’ve had enough of this’,” said Cousins. “He’s put his money where his mouth is. There are good people out there – it’s just the men in suits.”
The Home Office said: “We welcome those who wish to make a life in the UK with their family, work hard and make a contribution. But family life must not be established here at the taxpayer’s expense.” The rules governing British citizens who wish to bring a non-EU spouse to the country were “based on advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee … approved by Parliament and upheld by the courts”, the spokesperson continued. “All cases are carefully considered on their individual merits, in line with the immigration rules and based on evidence provided by the applicant.
Since Moore’s donation was made public, Cousins’s case has spread across the web, with a series of small donations made to a crowd-funding page set up by his son. “If it’s a good enough argument for Alan Moore, it’s good enough for me,” wrote one anonymous donor on the page. Cousins said he was lucky to be in a position with “good and influential friends, but some people don’t have that luck. So as soon as our own case is sorted, I will campaign for the rest of the people who are affected by this.”