Government's made fundamental error in cutting border staff and not ensuring they have resources needed to do their job - Bryant

28 April 2012

Chris BryantChris Bryant MP, Labour's Shadow Immigration Minister, commenting on the chronic queues at Heathrow, said today:

"The Government has made a fundamental error in cutting staff and not ensuring our border force have the resources they need to do their job at a time when we're about to see the biggest security challenge this country's seen for decades.

"Labour has been warning about this for months.

"Earlier this week we learned they are spending £2.5 million on new border force uniforms. A uniform isn't going to spot a dodgy passport, but more border staff would."

Yvette CooperYvette Cooper, shadow home secretary, said on Friday:

"Theresa May needs to protect our borders whilst keeping Britain open for business. Ministers failed on security last year. They mustn't fail on both this summer.

"The Government's decision to cut thousands of border staff in the year of the Olympics with a heightened terrorist threat and millions more visitors is proving to be a huge risk.

"The chaos and scale of cuts at the Borders Agency has already caused considerable problems. The Home Secretary needs to make sure Heathrow and other airports can cope with the number of visitors and maintain security at the same time.

"Everyone knew this summer would be busy. So why hasn't the Home Secretary got this under control?

"Yet people are being stuck in queues at our major airports for hours on end. Months before the Olympic Games the home secretary should be concentrating on staffing the border adequately and making sure it is secure this summer after the failure last time.”