Page last updated at 15:05 GMT, Monday, 9 July 2012 16:05 UK

May pledges extra border staff 'in a week'

Staffing at British borders will receive a temporary boost starting in "a week or so" to accommodate increased numbers of tourist expected over the course of London Olympic and Paralympic Games, Home Secretary Theresa May has said.

As Mrs May took MPs' questions on 9 July 2012, the government faced criticism from the opposition benches about the current length of queues at customs in major airports.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper urged the government to deal with the "chaos" afflicting some airports.

"Olympic visitors are already starting to arrive," she told MPs. "The rest of the country is working hard to show the world the best of British. All [the home secretary] is doing is showing visitors how to queue."

Labour MP and Home Affairs Committee chairman Keith Vaz said he had been "appalled" by the length of queues on a recent visit to Heathrow.

"Could we please start the additional measures for the Olympics immediately?" he asked.

Mrs May said the number of UK Border Agency (UKBA) staff at Heathrow was already "increasing".

"Extra arrangements will be in place for the Olympics," she pledged.

"Those arrangements will come into play before the Olympic opening ceremony, and therefore before significant numbers of tourists come in for the Olympics."

In response to Mr Vaz, she said this would happen in "a week or so".

Home Office: Government and opposition

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