A 14-year-old Scottish girl living in the Western Isles is effectively “stateless” after the Home Office refused to grant her a passport, says her local MP.

In 2005, when she was just two years old, the schoolgirl’s mother left her in the care of her father.

But two years ago the girl’s dad died, leaving her grandparents with parental responsibility.

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Last year a passport application was refused because the family couldn’t supply a copy of her mum’s birth certificate.

The mum is not in the girl’s life, and, despite numerous attempts, it’s not been possible for the family to track down a copy of her birth certificate.

On the advice of the Home Office, the family proceeded to apply for registration as a British citizen, but they were then told not to do this, and instead, to apply for a status letter.

But this was rejected because the Home Office was unable to confirm the girl is a British citizen.

Angus MacNeil says it's "probably the most callous case” he’s come across in his years as the MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar.

MacNeil said: “Here we have a 14-year-old girl who simply wants a passport but the cruel actions of the Home Office prevent her from doing what many of us take for granted.

“The family have been going round in circles since the passport application was refused. The girl’s mother cannot be traced and neither can her birth certificate and the Home Office refuse to accept her late father’s birth certificate – citing the British Nationality Act 1981.

“Having made enquiries with several agencies the reaction is the same – utter disbelief that a girl born in Scotland is being asked to apply to become a British citizen.

“To add insult to injury the Home Office is suggesting that she applies for registration as a British citizen – this girl was born in Scotland – if the Home Office can’t confirm she is a British citizen then what is she? Stateless?

“I will continue to maintain pressure on the Home Office – it is simply wrong that a 14-year-old girl is being treated in such a callous way.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “Her Majesty’s Passport Office must be satisfied of an applicant’s nationality and identity before a passport will be issued.

“In more complex cases, UK Visas and Immigration will provide further advice to help applicants either supply the evidence that will satisfy these checks or apply to register as a British citizen.

"We have been in touch with the family today to discuss the available options.”