British immigration staff had links with far right organisation

January 14th, 2009 - 6:29 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 14 (IANS) Authorities have launched an investigation after revelations that two immigration staff were members of the extremist British National Party (BNP), the UK Border Agency confirmed Wednesday.The links were revealed when a list of BNP members was put up anonymously on the Internet in November last year, leading one of the staff members to resign and the other to be suspended, a spokesman for the government agency said.

“There is no place for racism in the immigration system,” the spokesman said, adding: “We ask anyone carrying out duties on our behalf to sign a declaration stating they are not a member of the BNP, the National Front or Combat 18 [an extremist organisation whose name is derived from the initials of Adolf Hitler].”

UKBA is investigating how the two staff, who were employed on behalf of the British home ministry by a private contractor, managed to slip through the net.

The BNP is opposed to immigration and is considered to be racist by mainstream political parties in Britain. It has no MPs but has elected representatives at several local council bodies.

The Independent newspaper revealed that the man who resigned worked as a guard who had been employed to look after asylum seekers at a detention camp.

“Both cases raise serious concerns about racism within the immigration system, where membership of extreme political groups has long been suspected,” reported the Independent, which over the past two years has helped reveal nearly 300 allegations of brutality, including 38 claims of racism, made by asylum-seekers about private security and immigration staff.

The only two services where membership of the BNP can be grounds for dismissal are the police force and the prison service.

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