A day after it emerged that Prime Minister David Cameron was unambiguous in his opinion that the relaxation of passport checks was unacceptable, he has backed under-fire Home Secretary Theresa May
His spokeswoman minced no words to say the Prime Minister has full confidence in May.
The Prime Minister himself told the MPs that he fully backed May’s decision to authorise a pilot scheme of targeted checks on people arriving at UK airports and ports from Europe. The action had resulted in easing of controls on those thought to be low-risk.
The assertion is significant as May is under pressure of sorts to step down from the post. The Home Secretary has already made it clear that she will resist any such pressure to put in her papers on the matter.
In what is being seen as a short in May’s arm, Cameron has also indicated that the decision to place under suspension the services of UK Border Force head Brodie Clark had his backing. It’s Clark, who has, in fact, been accused of relaxing the checks on non-Europeans without ministerial approval.
The Prime Minister statistically backed his assertions. He told the House of Commons the pilot scheme had resulted in a 10 per cent increase in the detection of illegal immigrants. This was not all. It led to a 100 per cent rise in the numbers of firearms seized.
His assertion, however, did not find favour with Labour leader Ed Miliband. He accused Cameron of going by the culture of ‘blame everybody else’. He added: ‘You are an out of touch Prime Minister leading a shambolic government.’
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: ‘This is now an escalating fiasco which is sapping the authority of the home secretary.’
David Cameron, a day ago, 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.
The head of the UK Border Agency, Brodie Clark, has already 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”.