Theresa May maliciously destroyed Brodie Clark reputation her motives were to keep her own job? If David Cameron had any sense of honour he would dismiss May
Brodie Clark tells MPs: Theresa May destroyed my reputation
Ex-border force chief tells MPs he did nothing to 'enlarge, extend or redefine in any way' the scope of border control trials
The ex-head of the British UK border force, Brodie Clark, has landed fresh blows on the home secretary, Theresa May, by telling MPs he is "no rogue officer" and claiming she has been instrumental in destroying his reputation.
Clark, in his first public appearance since he was forced to resign over this summer's passport checks fiasco at Britain's ports and airports, said he had done nothing to "enlarge, extend or redefine in any way" the scope of the trial reducing checks that had been authorised by the home secretary.
The former British UK border force chief claimed the row over border checks had been confused by a "conflation" of long-standing Home Office health and safety policies dating back to 2007 and May's pilot scheme introduced in July to introduce "risk-based checks" to improve performance.
Clark insisted he had been meticulous in ensuring that port managers were completely clear about the requirements of May's pilot scheme and for the first month he had reported to her weekly. He insisted the trial had delivered exactly what she required: "I am no rogue officer. Nothing could be further from the truth," he said.
He told MPs that he had been a civil servant for 38 years, 15 years of which were in senior, high risk and often dangerous roles.
"Over 40 years I have built up a reputation and over two days that reputation has been destroyed and I believe that has largely because of the contribution made by the home secretary," he said.
The high-octane battle will now move to a trial of strength between Whitehall and parliament over whether the email trail that details the truth of the contending claims is released before the three official inquiries report next January.
Clark's appearance before the Commons home affairs select committee had been scheduled to last only 30 minutes but in a cool and meticulous 90-minute performance he revealed that he had nearly quietly walked away last week with a £100,000 plus retirement package.
The offer of nine months' pay and a good reference had been withdrawn at the last minute by the intervention of Dame Helen Ghose, the department's permanent secretary.
Clark also claimed that the immigration minister, Damian Green, had backed his proposal to include the suspension of fingerprint checks on non-European visa holders in the controversial trial. But this had been overruled by the home secretary herself.
But Clark's boss, the UK Border Agency chief executive, Rob Whiteman, told MPs that the border force chief had been "disingenuous".
He twice refused to refer to Clark's 40-year career as "distinguished" despite Clark being awarded the CBE last year for services to border security.
Whiteman also undermined Clark's "health and safety" defence, arguing that the use of the 2007 provisions to suspend fingerprint checks on non-European travellers on more than 100 occasions could not be described as exceptional.
"There was confusion on the ground about what provisions were being used in relation to different checks and I think health and safety provisions were being used routinely," said Whiteman.
Clark's version of events directly clashed with that given repeatedly by the home secretary to the Commons over the past 10 days. But it is impossible to judge the competing claims unless the paperwork to back them up is published.
When Whiteman refused to give the select committee emails backing up his claims of what happened when Clark was suspended he was warned by Keith Vaz of parliament's powers to send for "people and papers" and urged to reconsider.
The UKBA chief executive had repeated the home secretary's insistence that no papers would be published before the inquiries are completed in January.