Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:43 pm on 21 February 2024.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Chair, Home Affairs Committee, Chair, Home Affairs Committee 12:43, 21 February 2024

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. You will know that yesterday in the House there was an urgent question on border security. Later on that afternoon, it became public that the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration had been sacked by the Home Secretary. It is claimed that the Home Secretary lost confidence in the Independent Chief Inspector. It was clear from the urgent question yesterday that one of the issues the Chief Inspector was most exercised by was the 15 reports he has lodged with the Home Office since April 2023, which have not been published. The agreement with the Chief Inspector is that reports he submits to the Home Office should be published within eight weeks. Clearly, a number of those reports are well overdue. Have you, Madam Deputy Speaker, had any indication from Ministers about whether they were planning to come to the House to make a statement about Mr David Neal and the fact that he was sacked yesterday afternoon? More importantly, what has happened to the 15 reports the Independent Chief Inspector has lodged since April last year, many of which are on important issues?

Further to that, Madam Deputy Speaker, there is an issue about the Government introducing legislation, which this House is very concerned about, on the Rwanda policy and asylum seekers being moved to Rwanda to have their claims processed. With the lack of anyone now in the role of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, that will mean there is no independent oversight or scrutiny at a time when a major policy decision will be implemented by the Government. The Home Affairs Committee is particularly concerned by any delay. We saw in The Times a report that it will be six to nine months before an new Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration is appointed. Can you advise on the best way forward?