Labour ‘to boost UK citizen checks’

Published: Sunday 14th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Labour has pledged to increase scrutiny of people seeking British citizenship after a watchdog found lax checks had allowed v iolent killers to be accepted.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said applicants should be required to produce the equivalent of a Criminal Records Bureau check from their own country – or have their histories probed.

A report from John Vine, independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, said “no attempts” were made to check overseas criminal records and there were “virtually no other checks” to establish the good character of applicants apart from automated police and immigration tests.

Ms Cooper said the extra checks would be made easier by the 1,000 additional staff it has pledged to fund via a levy on visitors from the US and other countries benefiting from visa-free entry to the UK.

“Theresa May tried to bury this report, but she can’t hide the systemic weaknesses and poor enforcement of this Government,” she said.

“After Bordersgate, the passport shambles, the failure to deport foreign criminals, the asylum backlog and ignoring bogus students, this latest failure shows the need for urgent changes.

“Simply abolishing the Borders Agency and bringing it into the Home Office hasn’t changed anything. Ministers are simply overseeing poor performance in closer proximity.

“Labour will have more borders staff to increase enforcement both at the border and in the UK to make sure the rules are upheld and people can have confidence in the system.”

Published: Sunday 14th December 2014 by The News Editor

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