Home Secretary Theresa May with Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke
Dover UK Border Force staff have been warmly praised by Home Secretary Theresa May.
The UK Border Force is the body tasked with securing Britain’s ports, and on a visit to Dover on Thursday, the Home Secretary said its Dover-based staff were “committed, effective and enthusiastic”.
Her comments came in the wake of a damning report on the force from MPs on the Public Accounts Committee. The report claimed the UK Border Force has failed to meet eight of 19 performance targets, was too focused on carrying out checks on passengers coming into Britain while illegal immigrants were able to sneak through, and that staff morale was at “rock bottom.”
Mrs May was given a tour of the port and was able to watch docks-based UK Border Force staff at work. Afterwards, at a reception for Conservative Party supporters held at the St Margaret’s home of Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke, she said: “I was most impressed with the staff I met on my visit, and the work they are carrying out.
“They are carrying out their work effectively, they are committed and something that struck me was just how enthusiastic they are about what they do.”
Mrs May said she was confident that any issues raised in the MPs’ report would be dealt with by Immigration Minister Mark Harper, who has insisted that proper checks are being carried out at the UK’s points of entry.
Pointing out that an estimated 100,000 fewer people were due to come into the UK this year than in 2010, Mrs May said: “It is going to take time to fix the problems we inherited but I have no doubt that the correct actions are being taken.”
The Home Secretary added that the Port of Dover was a “very impressive operation” of which the whole country can be proud.
She also praised Mr Elphicke, who she said was “a great MP” who was making the voice of Dover heard in Parliament.