Chris Bryant MP, Labour’s Shadow Immigration Minister, responding to Damian Green’s evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on queues at the UK Border, said:
“At every turn this Tory-led Government wants to blame the wind, the weather - anything but themselves. You don’t have to be a mathematician to work out that if you cut the number of staff too far too fast it will take longer to get people through immigration. Damian Green is desperately trying to convince everyone that he and the Home Secretary are beefing up staffing levels at the UK border following the recent astounding levels of queues, but the truth is they have cut nearly 900 members of staff from the UK Border Force.
“His announcement this morning that 70 new staff members originally planned to be recruited for the reopening of Heathrow Terminal 2 will now be in place slightly earlier doesn’t come anywhere near dealing with the deficit of resources that UK Border Force and UKBA are faced with.
“Damian Green and the Home Secretary’s response thus far has been to draft in staff from other areas of the UK Border Agency to man the border. This is a totally unsustainable and leaves other important areas such as customs understaffed as a result. The Home Secretary must come up with a sustainable solution to the issues at the border and she needs to do it sooner rather than later.”