Sacked immigration whistleblower to sue former employers

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Indy Politics

Steve Moxon, the immigration whistleblower whose allegations led to the resignation of the Home Office minister Beverley Hughes, is to take the government to employment tribunal after being sacked for "breach of contract".

Mr Moxon, 48, who was suspended from his job at the Immigration Service in March after revealing that hundreds of visa applications from Eastern European migrants were approved without proper checks, was informed last week by the Home Office he had been dismissed.

Mr Moxon was informed, in a five-page letter, that he was "in breach of his contractual obligations", and had "failed to follow internal procedures", leading to an "irretrievable breakdown in trust between you and the department". The letter added that he did not act "reasonably" under the terms of the Public Interest Disclosure Act, the legislation introduced in 1998 to protect whistleblowers.

Mr Moxon yesterday said he would take his former employers to the employment tribunal and was confident of victory. The whistleblower, who had been working at the Sheffield offices of the Immigration Service for six months when he made his allegations, said he had no wish to return to his former job but was taking legal action "on a point of principle".

An earlier leaked Home Office report recommended Mr Moxon should be dismissed because he had "embarrassed ministers and the department" but said he had acted reasonably in revealing that ministers had failed to act on warnings of malpractice in the immigration system.

In March, Mr Moxon revealed that visa applications by migrants from eight eastern European countries that were about to join the EU were being approved without proper checks.

An internal inquiry concluded officials had rushed applications through to clear a backlog and that ministers were not aware of the practice, even though the Home Office minister Bob Ainsworth had written to Ms Hughes a year earlier asking her to investigate possible abuses of the system.

Ms Hughes resigned in April after admitting her statements had not been "fully consistent" with her correspondence with Mr Ainsworth.