Hughes admits rubber-stamp migration

Click to follow
Indy Politics

A secret policy authorised by the Home Office to fast-track passport applications for migrants was more widespread than first thought.

A secret policy authorised by the Home Office to fast-track passport applications for migrants was more widespread than first thought.

Beverley Hughes, the Immigration minister, was cleared last week by an internal inquiry over allegations that she had authorised citizenship applications to be rubber-stamped to cut the backlog. However, The Sunday Times reports today that it has seen a confidential memo showing that staff at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) headquarters in Croydon were told to wave through "all applications" which had been pending for more than three months.

The revelation is likely to lead to renewed calls for the resignation of Ms Hughes, who approved the policy.

It was revealed 12 days ago that she authorised a scaling down of checks on citizenship applications to reduce 29,000 claims at the IND's Liverpool office. The memo, written by Rosemary Earp, a Home Office official, indicates Ms Hughes knew of a decision to judge the claims less rigorously. Ms Hughes earlier faced demands for her resignation after a civil servant exposed an initiative in Sheffield to fast-track applications by East European workers to settle in Britain without ministers' knowledge.

A spokeswoman for the Home Office said the issue was dealt with "in the Minister's statement to the House of Commons on Thursday". She said: "There's a programme to reduce backlogs and the vast majority on the programme are in the country and have been checked. It is not a rubber-stamping exercise."

Comments