The Home Secretary has a bad day at the office

The Home Secretary came to the House to explain the failure of the Security Regulator to check whether approved people for the security industry were legally settled here or not, and to explain the emails reproduced in the press from her office saying she did not wish to release the information about the problem when she became aware of it.

Instead of apologising for what had happened and showing rapid movement to put things right, she told us that everything she had done had been fine, and the delays in sorting it out were presumably just one of those things.

During the course of her remarks she mentioned that she had written to other government departments reminding them of the duty which rests on employers to check immigration status before employing someone. I asked how many illegal migrants the government has found it is employing, and what action is going to be taken where such employment is found. Answer came there none.

My colleague, James Clappison, asked why so many more National Insurance Numbers have been issued to new arrivals compared with the number of work permits. Again there was no answer to the main point, even though there are some cases where people are entitled to a NI number without needing a work permit. The failure to answer properly implies there is also a problem with the NI issue.
The Home Secretary protested innocence too much. She still had some Labour supporters, but she must get on top of the administration of her deparment to give a convincing impression of authority.


  1. […] Smith was one of the more capable people in the Brown Cabinet, but perhaps I got it wrong. As John Redwood has said, she’s had a very bad day and in my opinion her position should now be untenable but […]

  2. Cliff
    November 13, 2007

    I sincerely believe the Home Office (or offices) is far too complicated for Labour to be in charge of them; we need to get them out now.
    It seems that during the last ten years, we have had people promoted way above their abilities when it comes to the post(s) of Home Secretary. I feel a little sorry for the civil servants that have to carry on their daily work with all the uncertainty that Labour brings to the department. It is not often I feel sorry for civil servants.

Comments are closed.