May destroyed my reputation, says ex-borders chief
Brodie Clark, the former head of the UK Border Force, broke his silence yesterday to accuse Theresa May of destroying his reputation as he hit back at suggestions he had gone "rogue" in secretly relaxing passport checks.
Mr Clark, who resigned after four decades' service at the Home Office to pursue a case of constructive dismissal against the department, claimed Ms May had misled MPs by telling them he had exceeded his powers.
But the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee was told by his boss at the UK Border Agency, Rob Whiteman, who initially suspended him, that he was being disingenuous in his version of events.
The marathon hearing of the committee ended without Mr Clark landing a wounding blow on Ms May, but a picture emerged of an immigration service still struggling to cope with the pressures it faces. Last night the Home Office was challenged by MPs to release full details of emails and memos that would clarify the conflicting accounts in the controversy. Mr Clark quit last week after complaining it was impossible for him to get a fair hearing because of the public opprobrium being heaped upon him, including the accusation that he was a "rogue officer".
He told MPs yesterday: "Over 40 years I have built up a reputation and over two days that reputation has been destroyed. I believe that has been largely by the contributions made by the Home Secretary." He claimed that both Ms May and Mr Whiteman had conflated two factors when levelling their charges against him.
Mr Clark said Ms May had authorised a pilot scheme this summer when controls were eased on passengers arriving in Britain from the European Economic Area to concentrate on intelligence-led operations, but vetoed plans to relax some fingerprint checks on non-European travellers. Separately, he said, visa checks were eased on health and safety advice on 57 occasions over that period because of queues at Heathrow and congestion on roads around Calais. This action was taken – with his approval – under guidelines laid down four years ago. Mr Clark said he would be very surprised if ministers did not know about that guidance.
But Mr Whiteman said Mr Clark had been "disingenuous" in not outlining to ministers the "full picture" of other policies in operation when the pilot was set up. Mr Whiteman added: "From what I see, the 2007 guidance has been stretched. It is being used on more occasions than in really dire health and safety circumstances."
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
QS university world rankings: Imperial College London leapfrogs Oxford to join Cambridge as best British university
Scottish independence exclusive: Millions of banknotes sent to Scotland in case Yes vote sparks run on ATMs
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...
£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...
£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...