Former head of UK Border Force is no ‘rogue civil servant’ after all

20 February 2012
For immediate release

The FDA, the union representing Brodie Clark, the former Head of the UK Border Force, today said it was pleased the independent report into the issues at UKBA does not support the early claims made by the Home Office that Mr Clark was a rogue official acting alone within the agency.

Paul Whiteman, FDA national officer, said:

"Despite attempts by the Home Office at the start of these events to lay the blame for perceived border control irregularities solely at Mr Clark's door, the Vine report is clear that blame is to be shared between officials and ministers. As a consequence, it is clear that the description that Clark was a 'rogue civil servant' was disingenuous and wrong.

"The report shows the lack of understanding between the Home Office, UKBA and the Border Force. It is little wonder that in the circumstances, Mr Clark genuinely believed that the decisions he had taken had the correct level of support. In contrast to early claims made by the Home Office, Mr Vine accepts the evidence that the UKBA chief executive at the time, Mr Clark's boss, knew and accepted what Mr Clark was doing within the organisation as did his colleagues on the board."

Mr Clark confirms he continues with his legal claim against the Home Office for constructive unfair dismissal.

Mr Clark said: "I welcome the recognition of the complexity of the business and hope that the recommendations contained within Mr Vine's report will serve to remove some of the barriers to success that currently exist."

He added:

"The Home Secretary's statement gives only a partial picture of the report's contents and does not acknowledge its full findings, including the criticisms of ministers."

Commenting on the legal action, Paul Whiteman said:

"Even on the very brief consideration of the report so far, there is much in it that supports Mr Clark's claim that he was poorly treated. We remain very confident that his claim will be successful."

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK's senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

2. Members in HMRC are represented by the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), a section of the FDA.

3. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

4. Mr Clark is not available for further comment.

For further information contact:

  • Jonathan Baume, FDA General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555.
  • Paul Whiteman, FDA National Officer, tel: 020 7401 5555.
  • Oliver Rowe, Communications Manager, tel: 020 7401 5588.