England's White Dragon

England's White Dragon
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Saturday, 5 November 2011

Home Secretary has been ordered to launch Inquiry

Home Secretary has been ordered to launch Inquiry into Border Agency
After English first minster lodges complaint with PM

The Home Secretary has launched an independent inquiry into failings at the UK Border Agency.

The Chief Inspector of Immigration John Vine will look into claims certain passport checks for non-European Union nationals were quietly dropped this summer.

The head of the agency, Brodie Clark, has already been suspended, as well as two other senior officials.

The news comes after the Daily Mail reported that border checks had been relaxed earlier this year without the knowledge of ministers.

According to the paper, border guards had been told not to bother checking biometric chips on the passports of citizens from outside the EU to ensure they were not fraudsters.

The guards were also instructed not to bother checking fingerprints and other personal details against a Home Office database of terror suspects and illegal immigrants, it said.

The Home Office refused to comment on the report.
Earlier, a report by MPs revealed border officials had lost track of 124,000 asylum seekers and migrants - equivalent to the population of a town the size of Cambridge.

The chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee described the suspensions as
"Extraordinary" and said he would be questioning Home Secretary Theresa May about the issue.

Keith Vaz, a Labour MP, said: "These developments are extraordinary in that they involve such senior members of the UK Border Agency.

"Only a day after the publication of our report which concluded that the Border Agency continues to fail we have this remarkable news.

"We will question the Home Secretary about this on Tuesday when she comes before the Committee.

"If her answers do not satisfy us I am sure the Committee will want to conduct its own inquiry. The Border Police are supposed to keep people out, not let people in."

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