Home Secretary Theresa May has admitted some of the hard-working and dedicated public servants wanting to see tough immigration controls “have been let down by senior officials at the head of the organisation”.
Ordering a thorough investigation into UK Border Force, she added the senior officials at the head of the organisation “put at risk the security of our border”.
The assertion comes soon after Labour and unions alleged staff shortages following cuts to the UKBA were behind relaxation of border controls in the summer,
May confirmed following allegations over the weekend there would be an immediate and thorough investigation into the UK Border Force.
In an oral statement to Parliament, she said: ‘Border security is fundamental to our national security and to our policy of reducing and controlling immigration.
‘The pilots run by the UK Border Force this summer were designed to improve border security, by focusing resources at passengers and journeys that intelligence led officers to believe posed the greatest risk.
‘The vast majority of those officers are hard-working, dedicated public servants. Just like all of us, they want to see tough immigration controls and strong enforcement. But they have been let down by senior officials at the head of the organisation who put at risk the security of our border.
‘Our task now is to make sure that those responsible are punished and to make sure that Border Force officials can never take such risks with border security again. That is what I am determined to do.’
The allegations are that staff were told to relax identity checks on non-EU nationals.
Already, Labour have demanded details whether anyone posing a risk to national security was allowed to enter the UK during that period.
It was in July that the Home Office said checks on EU nationals could be reduced in “limited circumstances”. It was added their biometric passports could be checked “upon the discretion of a UKBA official” instead of automatically.
It is now being alleged that Clark, on the other hand, told the staff not to carry out checks on the biometric passports or fingerprints of thousands of people from outside the EU. The allegations are that he also told the staff to relax checks against watch lists, which are aimed at flagging up people “of interest” to border staff.