Theresa May launched an independent inquiry last night into claims that the UK Border Agency dropped some passport checks to cut queues.
The Home Secretary called in John Vine, chief inspector of the agency, after reports that guards were told not to bother checking biometric chips on non-EU passports during staff shortages this summer. Fingerprint checks against a database of terror suspects and illegal immigrants were also said to be dropped.
Brodie Clark, head of the UK border force, has been suspended, together with four senior figures from the force.
Mark Serwotka, head of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said: "It should now be obvious to everyone that the Government needs to put an immediate stop to the cuts in UKBA and invest in staff."