Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Beverley Hughes is quitting 'cos she's just been found out to be a liar: new FOI disclosures.

Beverley Hughes, MP and children's minister, is standing down, she says, to spend more time with her family.
Oh yes?
It's an old euphemism.
Just a coincidence then that she is not responding to her local paper's request to discuss the new Freedom of Information disclosures of Home Office documents proving she lied in the immigration scandal over which she presided? 
Bev had to resign as minister for immigration back in 2004 for 'misleading the House (of Commons)' -- lying, IOW -- re what she knew of problems with visas at our Romanian embassy. This was in the wake of my coming forward as a 'whistle-blower' over systematic illegal non-application of immigration law across all immigration casework [rubber-stamping applications without checking them, in a procedure named BRACE -- 'backlog reduction accelerated clearance exercise' -- which was applied to all cases for periods].

What is new -- with the long-awaited disclosure from the Home Office after my FOI request back in 2005, when the Act first came into law -- is that it is now proven that she lied about the whole wider problem of illegal administration of immigration applications.

This shows that she is unfit to be either a minister (which she still is; though not of immigration, obviously) or an MP.

Below is my analysis re the most telling lines from the Home Office disclosure documents (which are archived in several small bundles on their website's FOI pages).


Major points in the newly disclosed documents.

Page 2. Point 4. Dated March 7, 2003, this is a call by the Director General of the Immigration & Nationality Directorate, Bill Jeffrey, for a review of the then current practice in the "wider application" of BRACE [that is, not just re cases over 12 months old, as mentioned in an earlier memo (page 1) to Beverley Hughes from Bill Brandon, the official who originated BRACE; but whenever BRACE was applied] that allowed no refusals, or a refusal only after reference to a senior caseworker. IOW, in effect all applications had to be granted whenever BRACE was applied to the caseload.

-- This proves that the Sutton Report's conclusion re BRACE -- that the problem of blanket refusals was restricted to Sheffield through a local management decision -- was a deliberate lie.

On the page 'Lines to take' re Bev Hughes misleading the commons (page 8?); second bullet point:

This states re Hughes' statement to Parliament on March 12, that she was asking Ken Sutton to look into "any previous exercises over the past 10 years dealing with backlogs". Yet from the evidence on pages 1-4 of the disclosure documents, Hughes well knew and had approved of 'rubber-stamped' blanket clearance exercises.

-- This proves that the then immigration minister, Beverley Hughes, deliberately seriously lied to Parliament about the Sutton Report. She knew that if it was conducted honestly, it would find pan-IND top-level approved systematic wholesale abuse of immigration law; and so she pretended she was not aware of the truth, and was party to setting up Sutton's report committee to invent a more palatable truth.

Four pages from the end of the disclosure documents, in a document retrospectively summarising the BRACE operations (obviously dated after I had come forward to 'whistle-blow' in March 2004):

"From 27 March the BRACE approach was extended to all cases over 9 months old and from 14 April to cases over 6 months old. ..... In July 2003 ..... staff were encouraged to grant applications older than 3 months which were submitted before 1 August unless the information on the file supported refusal."

-- Given that the line from the top, approved by Hughes, was that there must not be a refusal of an application unless it was through failure of the applicant to supply information after a further request for information, yet at the same time, sending out for further requesting was no longer allowed; then this means that ALL cases had to be granted, and none could be refused.

Given that with the enormous delays, no case was ever under 3 months old, then ALL applications processed by the whole of the Managed Migration caseworking workforce across Croydon and Sheffield were under BRACE, and therefore all applications had to be granted!

At the end of this document assessing the history of BRACE: "How many cases, in Croydon/Sheffield have/are still subject to BRACE?"!

-- This shows that BRACE was ongoing even after I had come forward.

Second to last page of the disclosed documents:

Anonymous email dated March 19, 2004 to Bev Hughes, Bill Jeffrey, Paula Higson (head of Managed Migration) and Ken Sutton, confirms that consideration of cases under BRACE was being suspended.

-- Given the rank of all of these people (the top brass in the IND) then presumably this was from either Sir John Gieve (the then Home Office permanent Secretary) or from Government special advisers, either attached to Hughes' office, or more senior [attached to the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett; or the PM.].

The email stated: "Should this guidance become public I would suggest our line should be: 'Government has ordered a full investigation of how it came about that guidance was issued to staff in the Sheffield office of the IND on the handling of applications under the ECAA agreements without minister;s knowledge or that of senior IND management, which will cover the way in which backlogs of general casework have been handled'."

-- The line that the problem was local to Sheffield and not known to ministers or senior officials is clearly an invention for political expediency made on the hoof and emanating from outside of the IND management.

The disclosure documents reveal that everybody at the Home Office -- ministers and senior civil srevants -- lied about key aspects the immigration scandal that broke in 2004.

Steve Moxon

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