Brit who flew to Australia to propose to his girlfriend claims they’ve been ‘abandoned’ by British government

A BRIT who flew out to Australia to propose to his girlfriend says they've been "abandoned" by the British government amid global coronavirus lockdowns.

Keelan Charlton, 28, from Somerset, and his friends can't afford a flight back home because they rocketed to thousands of pounds as airlines cancelled journeys.

6 years today ♥️

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The romantic lad spent months planning his proposal to Elley Bugler, 24, who said yes on March 1.

They then went on a two-week road trip with Ellie's best friend Paris Grose, 24, and pal George Panayides, 23, by which point COVID-19 was rapidly escalating in Australia.

Keelan's flight to Canada, where he was working, was cancelled and the group could not find affordable alternatives back to the UK.

Elly told Femail they're scared to book flights with the little money they have left, in case they are cancelled and the refund takes time to come through.

Having the pleasure to visit The Whitsundays and swim the Great Barrier Reef was something so special. But most of all to now call you my fiancé is beyond perfect ♥️

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But the consulate admitted there's no repatriation flights planned to the area, and they don't know if or when this will change.

She said: "I was also told there was no funding available for us. I asked what we were advised to do as we soon won't be able to afford rent, and the advice given to me was, 'I can't help you, just take out a credit card and book a flight home'.

"We felt abandoned and disappointed that the British consulate couldn't give us any further advice or reassurance on how we could get home. I don't think that Brits stranded abroad are getting enough support at all."

Keelan and Elley, who've been a couple for seven years, normally live together in the UK but have been working abroad separately since January.

Elley has been working as a dental assistant in Brisbane, while Keelan was a labourer in Canada.

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Elley had no idea Keelan was planning to propose when he suggested a trip to Serenity Falls, in Queensland, just a couple of days after arriving.

She added: "I thought it was just a normal day, having a picnic by a waterfall with my friends, and the next thing I know Keelan was down on one knee asking me to marry him! It was very surreal."

Elley, who had been planning to fly back to work in Australia until the end of May, has been left with no income after the dental practices close.

Luckily, a mate is letting the group stay for a low rent, but Elley stresses it's only a short-term fix.

A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told Femail: "We recognise British tourists abroad are finding it difficult to return to the UK because of the unprecedented international travel and domestic restrictions that are being introduced around the world – often with very little or no notice.

"The government has partnered with a number of airlines who have committed to work together to get Brits back to the UK and up to £75 million has been made available for charter flights were commercial options are no longer available. We'll continue working around the clock to bring people home."

Elley has set up a GoFundMe to help them get home. You can donate here.

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