Questioned about the Opposition Leader’s comments on immigration during his exchange with the Prime Minister in PMQs today, the PMOS said that as a Civil Servant he was unable to comment on party political matters. The Prime Minister had simply been making the point that it was important to discuss the issue of immigration rationally and calmly.
Asked if the Prime Minister’s concern about serious allegations of fraud related to serious allegations about what had gone wrong in the immigration service or the fact that information had reportedly not been passed on to Ministers, the PMOS said that allegations of fraud, on their own, were a serious matter. That was why Ken Sutton was investigating the issue. We had no intention of rushing to judgment until the facts had been established. Asked if Mr Sutton would pass on his findings to the police if fraud were to be proven, the PMOS pointed out that these matters were already being investigated by NCIS.
Questioned as to when Mr Sutton would publish his report, the PMOS said that it was more important to take the time to establish the facts correctly and reach the right judgement than to impose artificial deadlines. While the Prime Minister had said that we wanted to address the mater urgently, we also wanted a clear view of the facts. Asked if Beverley Hughes had been wrong to say that she wanted the inquiry to have concluded by the end of March, the PMOS said no. She had simply been making the point that the matter needed to be addressed urgently. As the Prime Minister had made clear, Ken Sutton had been asked to head the inquiry because he was familiar with this particular field.
Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news
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