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Disclosure by Brodie Clark expected to create problem for May

The disclosure by Brodie Clark, the senior civil servant who resigned from the UK Borders Agency over an immigration dispute,  that he relaxed passport controls to non-EU citizens on the advice of police is expected to create problems for Theresa May.

As per reports in the Guardian, the Home Secretary Theresa May, is expected to face a fight for her political career with Clark’s revelation

May claimed in the Commons that Clark, who plans to lodge a constructive dismissal case against the government, had improperly relaxed passport checks to manage growing queues at airports.

A pilot scheme operating in recent months had allowed the UKBA to relax passport controls for EU citizens. Clark is assumed to say that he told Whiteman, who took up his role in July, that passport controls were only further relaxed for non-EU nationals when the police demanded it to avoid public disorder.

Clark, who has worked in the civil service for 40 years, issued a statement denying the politician's claim and agreed to attend a meeting of the home affairs select committee on Tuesday.

As per The Observer, Clark (60), will this week tell MPs that he only acted on police orders.

He is expected to assert that an instruction put in place three years ago forced him to act if the police believed a crowd was causing a threat to public order.

 He is also believed to explain that he has been unable to recover documents and emails from his office to prove his case because he has not been allowed to enter the agency's headquarters.

 The select committee chairman, Labour's Keith Vaz, is also expected to ask the Home Office to make the documents publicly available.

During his evidence, Clark is also supposed to challenge the recollection of Rob Whiteman, the agency's chief executive, who claimed that Clark had admitted to him that on "a number of occasions this year he authorised his staff to go further than ministerial instruction".

There is considerable anger at the manner in which May publicly condemned Clark, who is described as a "meticulous mandarin", according to one former colleague.

Ahead of Clark's attendance at the select committee hearing, May has been asked by Vaz to answer 14 questions about the affair. The Home Office was asked to answer by Friday but was granted an extension.

May and the Home Office's permanent secretary, Helen Ghosh, both addressed a "steady the ship" open meeting last week for staff at the department's Marsham Street headquarters, designed to boost morale after a turbulent six days. It was said to be short and upbeat.

An interim report from one of the two internal inquiries into the border checks row may be published as early as next week. The full report into the affair by the independent inspector of immigration, John Vine, a former Tayside chief constable, will not be published until after Christmas.

Matthew Coats, who was the UKBA's head of immigration, has temporarily taken over Clark's role. A notice on the UKBA website says the border force operations manual is "being updated".

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