UK sacks immigration inspector after border security report

By Thomson Reuters Feb 20, 2024 | 1:07 PM

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain on Tuesday sacked the independent inspector tasked with monitoring its borders and immigration policy after he said hundreds of high-risk private flights were landing unchecked at a London airport.

“We have terminated the appointment of David Neal, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, after he breached the terms of appointment and lost the confidence of the Home Secretary,” a Home Office (interior ministry) spokesperson said in a statement.

On Monday, Neal told the Daily Mail that last year 543 ‘high risk’ flights arriving at London City Airport underwent no passport checks. The Mail said Neal was citing a report containing unpublished data from the government’s Border Force.

The Home Office rejected Neal’s comments, saying that a data recording error had wrongly classified a large proportion of the flights as high risk rather than low risk.

Neal’s term had been due to end on March 21.

(Reporting by Farouq Suleiman; editing by William James)