A PALESTINIAN writer has finally been granted a visa so she can appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival - but too late for her scheduled event.

Nayrouz Qarmout, an author, journalist and campaigner, applied for a visa from the Home Office four times, and has now been successful.

She was due to appear at the festival on Wednesday, 15 August, however will not make it in time.

Now a new event is to be planned for Qarmout, later in the festival.

Nick Barley, the director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said “We are thrilled that Nayrouz has finally, after four attempts, overcome all the challenges of the UK visa system and will be joining us in Edinburgh next week.

"While she will not be appearing with Leila Aboulela tomorrow, we are hoping that she will be here in time to speak on Thursday 23rd August when we will create an event especially for her."

Nayrouz was one of a dozen writers from the Middle East and Africa invited to the Book Festival this year who have experienced problems obtaining a visa to enter the UK.

All the visas have now been granted except one, Iranian children’s illustrator Ehsan Abdollahi - who is still awaiting confirmation.

Aberdeen-based Leila Aboulela is one of 50 authors commissioned by the Book Festival to write a Freedom Paper, which she will read in her event tomorrow morning.

Last week Mr Barley said that the difficulties writers and artist have had getting visas from the Home Office have escalated in recent years.

He said: "I think it's time to speak out - this is not to with Brexit, it is to do with a wider policy of immigration in the UK, which has had this unintended consequence on cultural activity.

"Unless we're careful, it's going to affect all our cultural activity, and any international work can be damaged by this strict policy on visas."

He added: "Edinburgh's festivals are predicated on their international activity, they have to work on an international level, and unless we get this sorted out, the festivals reputations will be damaged."