American rapper, reality TV star, and sometime actor Snoop Dogg - whose real name is Calvin Broadus - can now return to the UK after a three-year ban. The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal said border authorities were wrong to refuse him entry clearance in 2007.
The UK banned Snoop from visiting the UK after a scuffle in 2006 between the police and the rapper's 30-strong entourage outside the British Airways first-class lounge at Heathrow airport.
The Wall Street Journal reports Mr. Broadus, 38, was detained by the police but later released with a warning for using "insulting words." The Home Office argued the fight, coupled with his convictions for drugs and firearms offences in the U.S., meant he posed a threat to public order.
His army of well-paid lawyers disputed this, citing his involvement with high-school sports, his work for American car manufacturer Chrysler, and his frequent appearances on daytime TV.
Responding to the ruling, the Home Office said: "We are disappointed by the tribunal's decision in this case". It added it will now consider whether or not to appeal.
The tribunal said Snoop Dogg played a "relatively minor" role in the Heathrow scuffle, which was "precipitated" by decisions made by British Airways employees and police officers. They also noted he had travelled to a number of other countries over the past decade without incident. Moreover, the fact that U.S. courts merely meted out probation and community service to punish Mr. Broadus for the drugs and firearms offences suggested they attached a low-level of significance to them.