Union calls for independent inquiry on UKBA issue

7 November 2011
(For immediate release)

The FDA, the union representing senior managers at the UK Border Agency, has expressed concern about the answers given by the Home Secretary in Parliament at Home Office Questions today relating to the suspension on Friday of senior officials at UKBA.

Responding to Theresa May's explanation that she considered Brodie Clark, the Head of the UK Border Force, had "authorised the wider relaxation of border controls without ministerial sanction", FDA national officer Paul Whiteman said:

"It appears that Mr Clark has been found guilty by the Home Secretary even before he has been asked a single question. FDA members are entitled to expect that they will be allowed the opportunity to respond to any allegations before a Secretary of State announces their view as to culpability. Mr Clark is looking forward to fully cooperating with any independent or Parliamentary inquiry into these matters, where he will be able to explain the extent of the authority he believes is in place to relax border controls. That will allow the public and MPs to judge whether events were really as straightforward as described by the Home Secretary today.

"The decisions taken by officials and by Ministers in this matter are complex and deserve proper independent analysis. Mr Clark stands ready to fully cooperate with a truly independent inquiry."

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. 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.