THE father of a Scotswoman whose husband is trapped in Syria has criticised the Home Office for not doing enough to help those who have spouses trapped in war zones.

Professor William Gilmore's daughter Christine is married to Ziad Arabi-Katbi and awaiting a Home Office decision on his visa to come to the UK.

He is currently stranded in Damascus while the British Embassy in Amman holds his passport as they review his application.

Yesterday Foreign Secretary William Hague held talks with American Secretary of State John Kerry, who described the use of chemical weapons in Syria as a "humanitarian catastrophe of global proportions".

However Professor Gilmore has spoken out about the "lack of joined up thinking" by the UK Government, particularly the Home Office's "business-as-usual response".

He said: "It seems in the Home Office to be business as usual. It makes me surprised and disappointed.

"There must be at least a minimum moral duty of care towards the spouses ­- no doubt there are other categories of people one could talk about - but at least the spouses of British citizens."

PhD student Ms Gilmore, 33, met her husband in Damascus in 2010 when she was studying. They travelled to Beirut in December last year to marry and Mr Arabi-Katbi applied for settlement in the UK.

The application was halted when her husband's lawyer was killed in a car bomb and papers went astray amid the civil unrest.

The initial application was rejected, and Ms Gilmore's father said the couple then took legal advice to submit a new application, rather than appeal, because it would be quicker. Mr Arabi-Katbi has been waiting for seven weeks and his case is undergoing a "process of review" and is "within the published target processing time".

A Home Office spokeswoman said:"Mr Arabi Katbi's original application was refused in May because he did not supply the necessary evidence to support his application. He did not exercise his right of appeal.

"A fresh application was submitted in July and this application is currently being processed."

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