Harrods Owners Denied British Citizenship

The Egyptian-born owners of Harrods department store lost a High Court bid Monday for British citizenship.

Mohamed and Ali Al Fayed, aged 63 and 52 respectively, have lived in London since the 1960s. They said they will appeal the ruling.

Judge Sir Igor Judge rejected the brothers’ claim that Home Secretary Michael Howard, who is responsible for immigration, acted unfairly and unlawfully when he refused to give reasons for turning down their applications for naturalization a year ago.

Judge said that while the decision “lacked the appearance of fairness,” Howard was not legally obligated to give reasons.

But he said the letters the men received from the Home Office were “terse in the extreme” and suggested Howard consider giving reasons for the decision.

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