The Avenging Axe of Honesty and Integrity Hangs over May, Green, Ghosh and Whiteman

Posted on | Saturday, 19 November 2011 | No Comments

Following on from the evidence given by Brodie Clark and Rob Whiteman last week, Damian Green (current Minister of Immigration) and Helen Ghosh (departing Permanent Secretary, Home Office) will appear before the Home Affairs Committee next Tuesday 22 November; the interrogation is slated to start at 12noon. We can expect oily, evasive responses from the duo. In the short time they have been allotted to squirm, they should comfortably be able to sink any future career prospects down the same bog hole that May and Whiteman have already publicly dug. We can also look forward to an earlier event due to take place on Monday. That is the deadline for Teresa May (our here today gone tomorrow) Home Secretary to respond - by noon - with 6 key documents called for by the Committee. 

Here's a copy of Keith Vaz's letter to Theresa May, just so we all know what we're expecting the good lady to deliver:

UK Border Agency

I am writing to you following the Committee’s formal evidence session yesterday with Brodie Clark, the former Head of the UK Border Force and Rob Whiteman, the Chief Executive of the UKBA. The Committee would be grateful if you would provide it with the following papers which are relevant to our inquiry:
1. Any paper or papers which contain your explicit instruction to UKBA officials not to go beyond the agreed terms of the trial of risk-based processes at the border, as set out in the Interim Operational Instruction of 28 July, or otherwise set out the terms of your agreement to that trial;
2. The Operational Instruction or similar document issued in 2007, which describes the temporary changes to border arrangements which the UKBA may take in order to mitigate serious health and safety risks at a port or airport;
3. The e-mail sent by Brody Clark to Rob Whiteman at about 7 am on 3 November 2011 (which we have been told draws a distinction between the two policies described in the documents requested above);
4. Copies of the periodic updates (which we understand were weekly, in the first instance) which were sent to you on the operation of the trial between July and November;
5. A copy of the UK Border Force Operations Manual (if it is currently being updated, we would be happy to receive a copy of the last edition that was issued), or the complete URL where it can currently be found on-line; and
6. A copy of the webpages which appeared on the UKBA website before the 2010 election under the heading “Managing our border”, or the complete URL where they can currently be found on-line.
The Committee would be happy to respect any protective marking which appeared on any of the documents requested.
I understand that some of the papers requested have been or will be supplied to one or more of the three inquiries you have established to consider these events. We nonetheless believe that it is necessary for the Committee to receive copies in order for us to pursue our own inquiries.
Whilst writing, I have noted that David Wood’s interim report has in the words of the Daily Mail (16 November, page 8) “been leaked to the newspaper”. As it appears the report is ready, it would greatly assist us with our inquiry if you could provide the Committee with a copy.
Could I also remind you that the Committee is awaiting two further pieces of correspondence from you:
(a) On 7 November, you told the House following a question from Douglas Carswell MP that you would “be making information available on the issue involving Raed Salah to the Home Affairs Committee” (Official Report, col. 57). We have been waiting some time for this information and I would be grateful if you could now provide it.
(b) When you gave evidence to the Committee on 8 November, Mark Reckless MP raised a question about whether police and crime panels would have to power to trigger referendums on police precepts (QQ 62–66). You undertook to write to the Committee with fuller details of the reasons why the policy in the Act does not reflect the policy in the Coalition Agreement and the White Paper.
I would be grateful for a response by noon on Monday 21 November 2011 so that it can be circulated before the Committee’s next meeting on Tuesday 22 November 2011.
I remain most grateful to you for your assistance and continued cooperation on this matter.
The stage is set….(ed., read scaffold)


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