The former head of the border agency conceded yesterday he did not tell Theresa May that fingerprint checks were being eased at ports.
Brodie Clark, who is fighting a public battle with the Home Secretary over the relaxation of controls, said checks had been waived since early 2010 at times when huge queues of arrivals threatened public safety.
"No, ministers did not take that decision. I did not know whether they knew about it at that time," he told BBC Radio 4. He also said he had "no evidence" that Ms May or her ministerial team knew about the policy.
Mr Clark's admission will lessen the pressure on Ms May, accused by Labour of presiding over chaos within the UK Border Agency. She has insisted that she knew nothing of the fingerprints policy and had authorised only a much more limited relaxation of immigration checks on a pilot basis.