UK Border Force chief constructively dismissed

8 November 2011
(For immediate release)

Brodie Clark, suspended on Friday from the UK Border Agency, has tonight left the UKBA and will be lodging a claim for constructive dismissal in the light of the behaviour of the Home Office and comments made to Parliament by the Home Secretary Theresa May.

Mr Clark issued the following statement via his union the FDA:

"I am anxious to take part in any independent inquiry into matters relating to UK Border Agency but my position at UKBA had been made untenable because of the statements made in the House of Commons by the Home Secretary Theresa May. Those statements are wrong and were made without the benefit of hearing my response to formal allegations. With the Home Secretary announcing and repeating her view that I am at fault, I cannot see how any process conducted by the Home Office or under its auspices, can be fair and balanced.

"The Home Secretary suggests that I added additional measures, improperly, to the trial of our risk-based controls. I did not. Those measures have been in place since 2008/09.

"The Home Secretary also implies that I relaxed the controls in favour of queue management. I did not. Despite pressure to reduce queues, including from ministers, I can never be accused of compromising security for convenience. This summer saw queues of over three hours (non EU) on a regular basis at Heathrow and I never once contemplated cutting our essential controls to ease the flow.

"On the trials, I have pressed since December 2010 to progress these and I was pleased when the Home Secretary agreed to the pilot arrangements. The evidence to support them is substantial and the early findings are encouraging. I would do nothing to jeopardise them and I firmly believe that a more fully risk-based way of operating will offer far greater protection to the United Kingdom.

"I deeply regret having to make this statement. I am saddened that my career should end in such a way after 40 years of dedicated service. My employer has disregarded my right to reply in favour of political convenience.

"I have been advised to say nothing further until I appear before the Home Affairs Select Committee."

Notes for editors

 1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK's senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

2. Members in HMRC are represented by the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), a section of the FDA.

3. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

4. For further information contact:

  • Jonathan Baume, FDA General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555.
  • Paul Whiteman, FDA national officer, tel: 020 7401 5555.
  • Oliver Rowe, Communications Manager, tel: 020 7401 5555.