Immigration control row: May refuses to resign, Cameron says situation unacceptable, 100,000 sign e-petition

The controversy over immigration controls is far from over. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has made it clear that she will resist pressure to step down over the matter; the Prime Minister has asserted the relaxation of UK border controls was "clearly unacceptable"; and in just about a week more than 100,000 have signed an e-petition demanding effective immigration  controls.

Also, the head of the UK Border Agency, Brodie Clark, has put in his papers. But, has also aired his plans to pursue a claim for unfair dismissal on the ground that May’s assertion made his position “untenable”.

The UKBA too has come out with an official response to Brodie Clark's statement of 8 November.

UK Border Agency Chief Executive Rob Whiteman has asserted: "Brodie Clark admitted to me on 2 November that on a number of occasions this year he authorised his staff to go further than Ministerial instruction.

“I, therefore, suspended him from his duties. In my opinion it was right for officials to have recommended the pilot so that we focus attention on higher risks to our border, but it is unacceptable that one of my senior officials went further than was approved."

Refuting the allegations, the civil servant insists he was given authority for “additional measures” in 2008-09.

Accusing May of misleading the public during the immigration controls row, Clark said: “Those statements are wrong and were made without the benefit of hearing my response to formal allegations.”

The assertion comes soon after the Home Secretary told Parliament that Clark should “take full responsibility for his actions”. He was also accused of going beyond her initial approval of a limited trial of relaxed immigration controls for Europeans.

Even as May asserted she would not resign from her post, the Prime Minister was unambiguous in his opinion that the relaxation of passport checks was unacceptable.

Speaking at the meeting of the House of Commons Liasion Committee, the Prime Minister just stopped short of criticising May for her alleged role in authorising the pilot scheme that led to a watering-down of the border controls.

David Cameron said: "It's very clear to me that the Home Secretary did undertake a pilot scheme, a pilot scheme that was in some ways successful in terms of number of arrests.

"It is also clear there was activity going on by the UKBA that is not acceptable, that was uncovered by the inspector, it has been stopped, the person responsible has been suspended."




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