Home Office investigates illegal immigrant cleaners

Home Office building
Home Office building

The Home Office has come under fire over fresh allegations involving the five immigrant workers arrested at its immigration offices this week.

According to Channel 4, the Nigerian immigrants had been working at the immigration office, the same office that deals with their immigration status, for some time. It claims one of them had been cleaning the offices for three years.

When the immigrants were arrested on Wednesday, a home office spokesman said the employees, who worked for a cleaning contractor, were subject to the usual staff security and employment checks, which include checks on their immigration status.

And home secretary John Reid insisted the IND had acted effectively, saying the five Nigerians were identified as soon as they turned up to work at the IND offices in central London on Wednesday night.


But a statement given by Techclean, the company who employed the five workers, says the workers had been with them for some time.

"Each of the five individuals has worked at the premises of the IND on a number of occasions; one of them for about three years," Channel 4 said.

Speaking on the new claims, a home affairs spokesperson reiterated claims by the home secretary that no system could be '100%' safe.

"He (John Reid) also made it absolutely clear that no system was 100% foolproof and that there may have been occasions in the past where people had got through the system," said the spokesperson.

The revelation is just the latest embarrassment for the government, coming only days after a top official at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) said he did not have the "faintest idea" how many illegal immigrants remain in Britain.

Shadow home secretary David Davis said: "Yet again we see the Home Office and now the home secretary have misled the public over a very serious breach of national and Home Office security."

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