Home Secretary Theresa May was accused of leaving the UK's borders "dangerously understaffed" today as airlines and airports warned of "unacceptable" delays over the Easter weekend.
Shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant said Government cuts to Border Force staff were "leaving the security of the UK exposed".
But the Border Force insisted there would be no compromise over security, saying they aimed "to keep disruption to a minimum by using our staff flexibly to meet demand".
It came as airlines warned the Home Secretary that Britain "risks gridlock" at airports over the Easter break due to staff shortages.
British Airways and Virgin Airlines are among 11 firms that have written to Mrs May in anticipation of "unacceptable" delays to hundreds of thousands of passengers travelling over the long weekend.
The Border Force is under fire for a lack of staff able to carry out full security checks, which the airlines say must result in a recruitment drive or the relaxing of some of the more stringent measures currently in place.
More than 370,000 passengers will leave Heathrow airport between Good Friday and Easter Monday, and 200,000 will pass through Gatwick.