Have cuts in public spending precipitated the need for Customer Service reps from the travel industry to undertake Border Agency duties? I was both saddened and ashamed as a British citizen to witness my son in law, Ali, treated in a manner that was degrading and inhumane by a representative of Thomas Cook at Manchester International Airport

Failure to be granted a visa and having to return to Turkey is clearly a matter for the Home Office, that I accept. What I can’t accept is the actions of the travel rep who arrived on the scene a full seventy minutes before the scheduled take off and immediately advised him that he had two minutes to say his goodbyes. Would that be a minute for his wife and a minute for his baby girl? Perhaps the rep concerned has watched too many eviction nights on Big Brother and chose to incorporate the phrase coined by Davinia McCall into her repertoire. Heaven only knows.

If Ali had been a threat to national security or if indeed the two minute warning is part and parcel of rules and regulations then surely Border Control would undertake this task and not someone wearing a logoed Thomas Cook uniform, clutching a buff coloured file marked immigration.

Rightly or wrongly I made my feelings quite clear and far from attempting to diffuse the situation the rep decided to fuel it. I had the sense to back down, reluctantly.

Regardless of the circumstances, Ali was a customer of Thomas Cook having purchased his flight ticket online. He deserved to be treated with the courtesy afforded to other customers. For my daughter, the enforced, indefinite departure was more than enough to bear, but to watch her husband fighting back the tears, leaving with such haste that he left his favourite scones behind, is something that she nor I will ever forget