Fresh calls have been made to grant orphan Giorgi Kakava a permanent residency in the UK ahead of him starting high school in August.

The Church of Scotland, who has been leading the campaign to keep Giorgi and his grandmother Ketino Baikhadze in Glasgow, has urged home secretary Sajid Javid to grant the youngster permanent residency. Mr Javid is currently in the race to become the next Prime Minister.

The call comes as Giorgi, 11, prepares to start high school in August - although he could be deported to a country utterly foreign to him in eight months.

Evening Times:

Church of Scotland minister Rev Brian Casey said he hoped that Mr Javid would look to his own family background, who are originally from Pakistan, as a moral compass, and act with compassion and common sense.

The minister said he had been encouraged by the fact that the MP has made it clear during the Conservative Party leadership contest that he was in favour of a “sensible, flexible attitude” to immigration.

Evening Times:

Giorgi has lived in Glasgow since he was three-years-old and has no memory of his birth country of Georgia. His mother Sopio Baikhadze fled to the city because she feared that gangsters whom her late husband owed a debt to would either kill her son or traffick him. The 35-year-old was awaiting the outcome of an appeal for asylum when she died in February, 2018.

Giorgi, who speaks with a Glaswegian accent, lives with his grandmother Ketino.

Last July, following the backing of more than 90,000 people who signed an online petition, they were both granted temporary leave to remain in the UK for 30 months.

Giorgi has permission to stay in the UK until February 2020 and Mrs Baikhadze, a Georgian national, until December of that year.

Mr Casey, minister of Springburn Parish Church in Glasgow, said: “The UK is renowned as a land of welcome and opportunity – a fact not lost on you as the son of an immigrant who came to this country and worked every hour he could to ensure that his children had the best.

“Your rise to the top of UK politics speaks volumes about the future immigration aspirations of the UK in seeking talented immigrants from non-EU countries.

“Georgia is one of those countries and I can assure you that Ketino is a hardworking and proud woman, a quality I admire greatly and one which has clearly been imbued in Giorgi.

“I would respectfully ask that you show the moral courage of leadership and urgently review this case and grant Giorgi and his grandmother permanent leave to remain in the UK.”

Mr Casey added: “In a year when this amazing boy starts high school, please show the public that you are as committed as your father was to see that those who come from humble beginnings can reach the pinnacle of their potential."

Evening Times:

Tracy Kirk, a children’s rights expert and law academic at Glasgow Caledonian University, met the family this week. She said Giorgi's rights as a child were being breached and deporting a grieving boy to a country he does not know is “clearly” not in his best interests.

Ms Kirk said the UK has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child but is actively ignoring it.

She said: “The Home Office seems to show an utter disregard for children’s rights at every stage of their asylum and immigration processes.

"Put bluntly, the temporary reprieves which the Home Office seems to live by – delaying a decision on asylum by one year and then another and another is not children’s rights compliant.

“It is leading to children living in fear as to what will happen to them.”

She added: “But the Home Office procedures are leading to children feeling scared, anxious and uncertain.

“We cannot allow this to continue.”