A HADDINGTON business owner is "proud to be part of East Lothian" after a collaboration between the Courier, an MP and MSP ended his nightmare immigration ordeal which saw himself and his chef stranded in Calais.

Craig Douglas, owner of The Victoria Inn in Haddington, and his chef Ricardo Rivero, travelled to Spain last week on a business trip.

Their attempt to travel home on Wednesday morning was halted by UK border control officers at Calais who said that Ricardo was not a British citizen and does not have citizen status, so was refused entry into the country.

Craig sought help from South Scotland MSP and Haddington and Lammermuir councillor Craig Hoy, who has previously helped him with Ricardo’s citizenship application.

And after the Courier shared his story to East Lothian’s MP Kenny MacAskill, the ALBA politician’s office got to work too.

Craig and Ricardo were finally able to board a ferry yesterday (Thursday).

They made it home at about midnight.

Craig said: “It’s been a hell of a trip. We can smile about it now. It was a journey and we’ve got a lot of thanks to so many people who went over and above to help us.

“First of all, I know Craig Hoy personally so he was my first port of call because I could contact him straight away. But because of him only being an MSP he didn’t have a direct route [to the Home Office} but said he would do what he could and put his support behind us which was great.

“But the Courier’s support with Kenny was just fantastic.

“His secretary, I’ve forgotten her name, she was absolutely fantastic. She was on the phone to me constantly, asking if we needed anything, any shopping. She was a superstar. As far as I’m concerned she’s earned her salary by helping us.

“We put out a generic thanks to the Courier, Kenny and Craig knowing that there are cross party differences here but everyone did all they could and immediately jumped to our aid which was just fantastic.

“It really makes you proud to be part of East Lothian and this part of Scotland.”

Craig and Ricardo travelled to Spain to obtain new specialist products for new tapas dishes they wish to add to the menu.

Craig hired Ricardo last September after deciding to add Spanish tapas dishes and Argentinian steaks to his menu.

Ricardo was born in Argentina to Spanish parents and has dual nationality.

He was using his Spanish passport to apply for EU-citizen settled status in the UK in March.

It is his Spanish passport that was being held by the Home Office while his application was being processed. Ricardo used his Argentinian passport to travel to Spain with Craig.