More than 8,000 sign petition to stop deportation of much-loved Kentish Town shop worker Stoly
- Credit: Archant
A petition has been launched to stop the deportation of Stojan Jankovic, known fondly as “the nice man with the beard”, who has worked at the popular Kentish Town Earth organic wholefood store for the last 15 years.
Stoly, 52, who lives in Malden Road, was seized by immigration officers on March 30 with no warning and taken to a Dorset detention centre.
Stojan Jankovic, originally from former Yugoslavia, has lived in Britain for 27 years.
He is is due to be deported from the UK on April 4.
He was seized as he attended a routine appointment at an immigration reporting centre in London Bridge.
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Then he was arrested and transported to The Verne Immigration Removal Centre in Dorset.
It is understood he was seized as his immigration papers were not in order.
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The petition, addressed to home secretary Amber Rudd, has gained more than 19,000 signatures and caused a Twitter storm with the hashtag #savestoly, being shared by celebrities including DJ Sara Cox, football pundit Gary Lineker and Dartmouth Park actor Vas Blackwood.
It says: “We, the undersigned, demand an immediate stay of deportation for Stojan Jankovic to allow him time to instruct lawyers, so that his case to remain in the UK can be heard.
“Stoly has given fifteen years of his life to serving the people of Camden as the much-loved face of Earth, Kentish Town’s long-established wholefood store.
“To his colleagues and neighbours, his customers and fellow Kentish Town workers, he simply represents the very best of Britain and of Camden: hard work, self-deprecating humour, and a dedication to helping others.
“We are horrified and ashamed that instead of celebrating Stoly’s contribution to our country and community, the government is seeking to deport him hurriedly and with barely a nod to due process.”
One customer Cathy Grant said: “He is always so helpful. He is part of Kentish Town life. We all know him fondly as the man with the beard from the organic shop. It is terrible that after years of helping us he is now being treated like this.”
Victor White said: “What use is it deporting a guy that actually gives and lives in his community. To me 15 years is considered part of the furniture.”
Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer has asked for Mr Jankovic’s deportation date to be delayed to allow time for a legal challenge.
See petition here