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Last Updated: Monday, 6 June, 2005, 13:35 GMT 14:35 UK
New immigration chief appointed
Immigration and Nationality Directorate offices at Lunar House in Croydon
Ms Homer welcomes the challenges ahead
Birmingham City Council's chief executive is to be the Immigration and Nationality Directorate's new chief.

Lin Homer will become director general when she steps down from her current 170,000-a-year job in August.

The directorate is responsible for immigration, asylum, border control and citizenship in the UK.

Ms Homer was criticised by an election court judge after six councillors were found guilty of vote-rigging in local elections in Birmingham last year.

In a statement Ms Homer said: "It has been an exciting and interesting three years working for the biggest local authority in the country.

"I am also looking forward to the challenges of a very different job in central government where I hope to use the experience I have gained in this most cosmopolitan and diverse of cities."

Ms Homer has also worked in Reading, Hertfordshire and Suffolk during her 25 years experience in local government.

During her two and a half year tenure at Birmingham City Council, Ms Homer has had to deal with some high profile problems, most recently, of postal voting fraud in last year's local elections.

Election Commissioner Sir Richard Mawrey QC said that Ms Homer, and her senior elections officer John Owen, "threw the rule book out of the window" to deal with overwhelming numbers of postal vote application forms received.

It has been an exciting and interesting three years working for the biggest local authority in the country
Lin Homer

He made the comments after he upheld allegations of postal fraud relating to six seats won by Labour in the June 2004 ballot.

Judge Mawrey said evidence of "massive, systematic and organised fraud" in the campaign had made a mockery of the election and ruled that not less than 1,500 votes had been cast fraudulently in the city.

The council has also failed to achieve any stars in government ratings for key services.

Clampdown 'prevented vote fraud'
07 May 05 |  West Midlands
Man held over vote fraud claims
03 May 05 |  England
Vote scandal councillor cleared
03 May 05 |  England
Warning over postal voting fraud
29 Mar 05 |  West Midlands

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