FO whistleblower recalled to face visa investigation

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The Independent Online

A British diplomatic whistle-blower whose exposure of immigration scams led to the resignation of a government minister is facing investigation over visa applications.

A British diplomatic whistle-blower whose exposure of immigration scams led to the resignation of a government minister is facing investigation over visa applications.

James Cameron, the British consul in Romania, has been recalled to London to answer allegations of "misconduct" and "improper dealings" with a travel agency in Moldova.

The diplomat's exposure of abuses of the immigration system resulted in the immigration minister Beverley Hughes leaving her post. Ms Hughes had originally denied any knowledge of concern among officials over the issue. But she was forced to resign after it was disclosed that she had been told about the problem by a ministerial colleague.

Mr Cameron, 54, a former Army warrant officer with 22 years' service, had sent two e-mails to David Davis, the shadow Home Secretary, complaining that he and other members of the embassy staff were being instructed by the Home Office to turn a blind eye to fraudulent visa applications.

Mr Cameron is reported to have told friends that he is the victim of a "political prosecution". One of the charges against him is that he provided the Conservatives with " political ammunition to attack the Government". He is also said to have been asked whether he had received any monetary or favours of any other type from a travel agency.

According to friends, Mr Cameron fears that the Foreign Office will claim that his disclosures were not covered by a law designed to protect whistleblowers. He will be accused of leaking the information for "political motives".

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said yesterday: "I can confirm that James Cameron, a diplomatic service officer in Bucharest doing visa and consular work, has been withdrawn. Information has come to light that points to serious anomalies in the handling of visa applications in Bucharest and he has been asked to return to London while an investigation into these anomalies is conducted." The Foreign Office refused to discuss details of the case as it was a "personnel matter".

Mr Davis said at the weekend: "Had it not been for James Cameron's brave actions, many of the failures, misdemeanours and deceit would not have been exposed."

Mr Cameron, a Scot, was originally suspended in March following his e-mails to Mr Davis. He and his wife Angela, 44, were interviewed by Foreign Office officials. Subsequently Mr Cameron was interviewed by an officer of UK Visas, a joint Foreign Office and Home Office unit which oversees the visas of all migrants coming to Britain.

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