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Blears confirms illegal immigrant worked on campaign

Former Cabinet minister Hazel Blears today confirmed that an illegal immigrant had been working as a volunteer on her election campaign.

The Labour MP for Salford said she instructed the woman to leave her campaign and reported her case to the Borders Agency as soon as she learnt of her immigration status yesterday.

Ms Blears said neither she nor any other election candidate was in a position to vet all the individuals who volunteer to help during a campaign.

The Sun reported that Nigerian national Rhoda Sulaimon was due for deportation shortly after the May 6 General Election, having overstayed a student visa issued five years ago.

Ms Blears today told the Press Association: "I had absolutely no idea of this woman's immigration status until she informed me at two o'clock yesterday afternoon.

"As soon as I was made aware, I took immediate action to instruct her to leave the campaign and I got in touch with the Borders Agency and told them about it."

She added: "Neither I, nor any candidate from any other party would be in a position to vet the immigration status of the hundreds of people who come in through the door to offer to stuff envelopes or deliver leaflets.

"I had never met this person before she came in and offered to help. She was not a campaign worker, she was a volunteer and she was not paid."