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Veteran immigration officers called back to service

Retired immigration officers will return to duty over the summer to help the Border Force handle the extra visitors meant to enter the country on south east terminals.

Three-hour queues at Heathrow over Easter elicited fears that the hub would struggle to deal with the predicted hundreds of thousands additional passengers arriving for the London Games.

The Sunday Telegraph reported on Sunday that the Border Force, an agency of the Home Office, planned to spend £2.5 million bringing back ex-members of staff who will receive travel expenses, be given hotel accommodation and paid allowances of up to £30 an hour.

It was announced on Friday that MPs will question Immigration Minister Damian Green about the severe queues at Heathrow.

Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz said: "This is not just about the Olympics, this is about what happens before and after, it's about Heathrow as a world-class airport and it's about our reputation, and we need to make sure we get it sorted."

But Border Force chief Brian Moore insisted: "The vast majority of passengers pass through immigration control quickly.

"Queues are caused by a number of factors, including incorrect flight manifests or early or late planes which result in 
bunching.

"The important factor is to have staff that are flexibly deployed in the right numbers at the right times and this is what we always try to do."

 

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