Letter: Male au pairs

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The Independent Online
Sir: I came across the nonsense with which the Home Office handles the subject of male au pairs in the mid-Eighties ('Au pair to be deported because he is not a girl', 29 August). I was Conservative spokesman on Social Affairs in the European Parliament and suddenly discovered Britain had outlawed male au pairs.

I sought an interview with the relevant official, whom I saw in Croydon. Clearly, this was one of many subjects in his keeping; he knew little about it. Asked why the government wanted this discrimination, all he could offer was: 'Well, boys are more easily corrupted, aren't they?'

The American student who accompanied me thought this a highly sophisticated argument]

I suggest the subject be looked at afresh. The au pair rules are strict and it is unlikely that males will break the UK's immigration laws more readily than girls. To persist makes us a laughing stock and is also against any possible laws on equality of employment.

Yours faithfully,

FRED TUCKMAN

London, SW13

30 August

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