UK Gov’t Fires ‘Independent’ Borders Watchdog After Alleging Officials Failed to Check ‘High Risk’ Arrivals

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (R) meets with Border Force officers during a visit t

The British government has fired its supposedly “independent” chief inspector of borders and immigration after he criticised the number of arrivals who enter the country unchecked, asserting Border Force failed to check hundreds of foreigners arriving in the country on private jets, thereby potentially endangering the public.

The Home Office announced on Monday that it had “terminated the appointment” of David Neal, the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, after he allegedly “breached the terms of appointment and lost the confidence of the home secretary,” Sky News reported.

“The planned recruitment process for the next independent chief inspector of borders and immigration is in progress,” the ministerial department added.

The unusual move from the government to fire a supposedly independent watchdog came after Neal had told the Daily Mail on Monday that the British Border Force had failed to inspect the passengers on hundreds of private and chartered flights entering the country from abroad, potentially letting dangerous people into the country.

Neal claimed that while 100 per cent of such flights which are classified as “high risk” should be inspected by the Border Force only 21 per cent were inspected by immigration officials at the London City airport. He went on to claim that this amounted to 543 flights with passengers being released into the country without as much as having their passport checked at the airport and warned that the alleged lax protocols were likely impacting more airports throughout the country.

“This is a scandal, and incredibly dangerous for this country’s border security,” Mr Neal said, explaining that since his position as the independent watchdog was set to end next month, he felt it necessary to come forward with the information and pressure the government to resolve the issue.

“It would untenable to see this scandal go unaddressed until the end of the year. There will be no-one in this position to investigate whether these serious problems at London City airport are prevalent at other airports around the country,” he said.

The Home Office said that it “categorically” rejected his assertions, claiming that many of the flights in question were wrongly classified as should have been “re-classified as low-risk” and therefore accused Neal of spreading “misleading data into the public domain”.

Neal has long been critical of the performance of the Border Force, previously claiming in a report that the inspection of illegal boat migrants was so “inexcusably awful” that officials were failing to even record the names and fingerprints of the illegal migrants upon entering the country.

The watchdog later reported that officials admitted that such failures played a role in allowing migrants to abscond and disappear into the country from their taxpayer-funded hotel accommodations.

Following his sacking on Tuesday evening, Neal told the Times of London that the Home Office was refusing to publish more of his reports and therefore felt that he had no other option but to speak out publicly.

“There’s a strong public interest here and that’s why I’ve done what I’ve done. “The border is there to keep us safe, it’s critical that there are clear auditable risk decisions made to protect every one of us in the country,” he said.

“This is not something I’ve done lightly. But I’ve been forced into this because my reports aren’t being published.”

Brexit leader Nigel Farage said of the firing: “David Neal told the truth and has been fired. [Home Secretary] Cleverly ought to listen and act, not sack him.”

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