UK home secretary has never met with Border force head

UK home secretary has never met with Border force head Image:

Despite the issues, at the UK’s borders, the home secretary has never met with the head of the border force, despite being in the job for more than 14 months.

David Neal, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, speaking to the Home Affairs Committee on June 8 said that the home secretary had cancelled all the appointments. As a result, he had not met with her since being appointed in March 2021.

Neal as head of borders is “responsible for “monitoring and reporting on the efficiency and effectiveness of the immigration, asylum, nationality and customs functions carried out by the home secretary and by officials and others on their behalf..”

Expressing frustration and disappointment at not being able to speak with the Home Secretary Priti Patel, he said that he had stopped trying to meet with her and instead maintained contact with junior ministers.

According to Neal, the last time he spoke to her was on the phone before he started his job.

He added that he has had good access to other ministers in the Home Office, but after writing a number of letters he’s not sure he can “do anything more” to meet Ms Patel.

When asked whether Patel’s flagship plan to send “illegal” migrants to Rwanda for processing had been effective, he said that so far it had made no impact whatsoever on the number of small boats arriving on UK shores.

With daily reports of problems involving border controls at airports and regular arrivals of boats carrying migrants, it seems rather odd that the border force head, the man responsible for implementing border policy has never met with his boss.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at