John Vine's report reveals the extent of the borders fiasco last summer - Yvette Cooper

20 February 2012

Yvette CooperYvette Cooper MP, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, responding to this afternoon's statement and report on border security, said:

"John Vine’s report reveals the extent of the borders fiasco last summer, with checks being downgraded over 2,000 times after Ministers decided to weaken border controls. It is clear that on Theresa May's watch border controls were substantially weakened last summer compared to previous years.

"The report shows that instructions from the Home Secretary's office were unclear, whilst the Immigration Minister authorised relaxed checks in January 2011 without asking the Home Secretary which were then implemented by the UKBA.

"The Home Secretary is trying to claim that the problems at UKBA have nothing to do with her, the immigration minister or her so called pilots. Yet the report shows the opposite. It makes clear that controls were downgraded far more often in 2011 than in any previous year, and that the Immigration Minister licensed repeated weakening of border controls.

"In November the Home Secretary claimed her pilots were a success and meant more illegal immigrants were caught. Yet today's report shows the opposite is true -  fewer illegal immigrants were stopped at Heathrow and other ports too in 2011.

"Last summer’s border fiasco was a disgrace. Yet the Home Secretary is still passing the buck. Unless she recognises the responsibility of Minister she will fail to prevent future fiascos, and she will fail to keep our borders secure."