Publication of correspondence: Letter to Home Secretary following David Neal session

29 February 2024: Home Affairs Select Committee: The Home Affairs Committee has written to the Home Secretary, James Cleverly, with questions following its evidence session with former Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI), David Neal.

The letter highlights key concerns raised in the session and request further information on an number of issues, including the role of ICIBI and the impact of the post remaining vacant; outstanding ICIBI reports and their publication; the situation at Wethersfield asylum accommodation centre; and UK border operations.

Chair’s comment

Chair of the Home Affairs Committee, Dame Diana Johnson said:

“We were deeply troubled by what we heard at yesterday’s session with David Neal. Irrespective of the whys and wherefores of his dismissal, we are left with yet another Home Office mess. The ICIBI is a vital part of scrutinising border operations but it is left without leadership for months. 15 reports remain unpublished by the Home Office and we have to wonder how far the Home Office will have taken on board their findings to improve border operations. We have asked them to set out how they intend to restore the authority and effectiveness of this vital role.

“We are also concerned about the conditions at Wethersfield and have asked the Home Office to allow us to see for ourselves what is going on here.”