Three UK Border Agency officials have been suspended after it was discovered they had been following Home Secretary Theresa May’s orders.
The suspensions happened after the officials were ordered by the Home Secretary to relax checks on biometric passport holders at Britain’s ports and airports this summer.
Mrs May was said to be ‘furious’ when she discovered the immigration officials had actually done what she had told them to do. The Home Secretary explained:
Experienced, professional officials should know they aren’t supposed to take what ministers say seriously. If officials went around actually doing what politicians said they wanted them to do, the country would be in chaos.
Mrs May also announced she has ordered an independent inquiry into allegations that listening to politicians by government officials was widespread.
For Heaven’s sake, at the Tory party conference I said we should clamp down on cat ownership to reduce the amount of foreign criminals in Britain. I didn’t expect the police to start arresting cat owners. No-one, apart from the Tory party faithful, actually takes this rubbish seriously, do they?
Labour and unions have claimed that staff shortages – due to government cuts to the UKBA – and not obedient staff are at the root of the problems.
But Mrs May denied that drastic government cuts to the number of officers employed by the UK Border Agency were leaving Britain’s borders unprotected after the suspension of the three officers:
There is no reason why the remaining seven officers can’t do the job. They might have to do a bit of moving around to cover all the airports, ports and coastline but we’ve provided them with bicycles so there shouldn’t be any problems.
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