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Brodie Clarke: 'I should have checked with May'

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The former civil servant at the centre of the row over the relaxation of UK border controls says he probably should have checked what the home secretary knew about procedures being followed at Heathrow.

Brodie Clark, who resigned as head of the UK Border Force after being criticised by Theresa May, says he found out earlier this year that staff at the airport had not always carried out fingerprint checks when it was very busy.

He thought this was sensible practice and did not tell ministers. Speaking to the Today programme's Justin Webb, Mr Clark admitted that "perhaps I should have more thoroughly checked out what the home secretary knew or did not know.

"The home secretary has visited Heathrow, the home secretary was briefed when she came in and took up office in the first instance about the operation of the border and the policies around and linking with the border."

But Mr Clark rejected suggestions that the UK's border security was in "a mess".

"I think one of my sadnesses is that it is anything but a mess and I think we've done fantastic work over the last three years as we have brought customs and immigration together," he said.

"I think our work in northern France, where [in] 2009/2010 we stopped 25,000 attempts by clandestines to get to the UK. That would have been up to 25,000 people seeking asylum in this country."


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