Illegal immigrants employed at UK Border Agency
Illegal immigrants have been employed at Government offices including the headquarters of the Home Office and the UK Border Agency, it has been disclosed.
By Murray Wardrop
Published: 7:30AM GMT 04 Jan 2010
Attorney General Baroness Scotland was fined 5,000 last year for employing Loloahi Tapui, right, a Tongan illegal immigrant, as a housekeeper Photo: GETTY
Ten foreign workers illegally obtained jobs at Becket House, the south London headquarters of the UK Border Agency, which vets immigrants.
A further two illegal immigrants managed to find work at the Home Offices Whitehall HQ one of whom was even employed as a security guard.
Hundreds more have been employed at 34 local authorities and 54 NHS trusts across the country, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show.
The revelation comes as a fresh blow to Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, who recently admitted that the Government has been inept over its handling of immigration.
It also follows the scandal over Attorney General Baroness Scotland, who was fined 5,000 last year for employing Loloahi Tapui, a Tongan illegal immigrant, as a housekeeper.
The data gives details of people employed since 2006 at government departments, councils and hospitals, who were later discovered to be illegal immigrants.
It shows that 12 people 11 Nigerians and one Ghanaian were employed by the Home Office. Ten worked at the UK Border Agency as cleaners and two at the office where Mr Johnson works one as a chef, the other as a security guard on the front door for 19 months before he was uncovered.
Eight of the 12 have since been deported, three are detained pending appeals and one was later granted leave to remain in the country.
Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling told the Mail on Sunday: This is an absolute scandal. The Government has taken tough action against private companies over the employment of illegal immigrants, yet on this evidence it is quite clear the public sector has taken on bogus workers and escaped any form of censure.
We have Ministers constantly telling us they have got to grips with the chaos in our immigration system, yet the Home Office itself has been employing illegal workers. It is completely unacceptable and we need an urgent explanation from Ministers.
In all, 349 unlawful foreign workers obtained jobs including six who found work as secondary school teachers and 10 employed as social and care workers.
Health trusts revealed four became doctors and 13 secured nursing work in NHS hospitals.
The local authority that employed the highest number of illegal immigrants was Haringey, in North London, which has been condemned over its handling of the Baby P scandal.
A Home Office spokesman said: “The 12 illegal workers identified since 2006 were all sub-contractors, none of them were directly employed by the Home Office.
“It was our checks and the strict regime we operate on illegal working in the UK that brought these cases to light.
“We are doing more than ever before to crack down on illegal working, with raids taking place up and down the country every week, and thousands of rule breakers deported.”
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