A HIGHLAND MP is urging “compassion and common sense” in the case of an American couple who face being deported back home after spending their life savings building up a successful bed and breakfast business in Inverness.

The SNP’s Drew Hendry, has written to Home Secretary Amber Rudd demanding an urgent meeting about Russell and Ellen Felber.

The couple have spent more than £400,000 buying and refurbishing a guest house in the Highland capital and have support from more than 1700 local people, including friends and neighbours, business owners and the clergy.

READ MORE: Mhairi Black: Tory tactics on Universal Credit are disingenuous, infantile and insulting

A Court of Session judge ruled on Thursday that Rudd had not acted unlawfully when she decided the Felbers did not meet the legal requirements to remain in the UK, despite the Home Office having retrospectively applied a rule change regarding the number of people they had to employ to qualify for leave to remain.

Hendry, MP for Inverness, Nairn Badenoch and Strathspey, who has been fighting for the couple to stay, said: “The Felbers have done nothing wrong. They have, at all times sought to comply with the rules, but the UK Government changed the rules, during their qualification period, without notice.

“They have therefore been caught by a technicality they had absolutely no way of avoiding – in spite of investing hundreds of thousands of pounds in a successful and award-winning business, in spite of the overwhelming support of the local community.

“They are making a positive contribution and it is an absolute disgrace that they have been forced through this heart-breaking and stressful procedure, culminating in what will be a callous order for deportation.

‘’It is unacceptable that the Felbers, like the Zielsdorf family, who ran the local shop in the tiny village of Laggan before them, are to be ripped from the Highlands.

“The Tories’ disgraceful ‘one size fits all’ policy doesn’t fit the Highlands and has no bearing on the realities of everyday life here.

“I have written to Amber Rudd, to demand an urgent meeting. The UK Government must stop treating the Highlands and its people with such contempt. They simply must show compassion and common sense.”

Neighbouring MP and SNP Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, added: “I very much support my colleague, in pursuing justice for this couple.

“We’ve seen this all too often before. The situation is simply intolerable, in case after case, we are seeing people, valuable, vital to the Highlands, thrown out by an out-of-touch Tory government. They are behaving in a way that is causing lasting harm and it is time that some, well overdue, compassion was shown.”

In his letter, Hendry said the Felbers’ hard work and family life, had been put in jeopardy.

He wrote: “It is deeply concerning that the current UK visa regime has put this hard work, this family life in Scotland and significant investment in jeopardy. In February 2016, when Mr Felber and his wife applied for indefinite leave to remain, this was refused on a technicality.”

“It is clear to me they have complied with all conditions of their Tier 1 visas and this is demonstrated by the granting of their visa in 2011 and subsequent extension for two years in 2014. I was therefore deeply concerned to hear that this compliance was not taken into account in their most recent application ... I believe that, whilst the technicality may have been upheld, both the basis for their refusal of right to remain and the process that they have had to endure have been fundamentally unfair.

“This situation has had a very real impact on my constituents’ well- being. Given the circumstances outlined above, I think it is not unreasonable to demand that you meet with me urgently, that you personally intervene and take all steps necessary to ensure the Felbers can continue to live in Scotland.”