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Vaz asks Met Police if interested in 'hacking list' firms

Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz has written to the Met Police's Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick to ask if the force has any further interest in the companies on a list of names linked to rogue private investigators.

He has asked Ms Dick, as well as the Information Commissioner's Office, to confirm when the public will be able to see those names, whose identities are currently being protect at the behest of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca.)

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Chairman Keith Vaz said the Home Affairs Select Committee 'remains concerned' Credit: Simon Galloway/EMPICS Sport

The list, which was created by Soca, was passed to the Home Affairs Select Committee on strict confidentiality grounds - prompting Mr Vaz to demand an explanation as to why it should be kept secret.

It breaks down firms that featured in evidence in prosecutions of Operation Millipede, the Soca investigation that led to the conviction of private detectives for fraud, as well as firms that were relevant to the inquiry but not used in evidence.

Committee 'remains concerned' about hacking claims

Chairman Keith Vaz said the Home Affairs Select Committee "remains concerned" after it was handed a list of 102 names of companies and individuals linked to rogue private investigators.

He said:

The Committee remains concerned that it holds a list that Soca [Serious Organised Crime Agency] has classified as secret, even though it is evidence given as part of our inquiry.

This is an important step forward in establishing the facts.

Mr Vaz also confirmed there are five organisations or individuals on the list who are being investigated as part of Operation Tuleta, Scotland Yard's investigation into allegations of computer hacking.

Vaz claims PCCs have 'worrying' ability to evade rules

Home Affairs committee chairman Keith Vaz said it is "worrying" that Police and Crime Commissioners "seem able to side-step the statutory process for dismissing a chief constable".

Home Affairs committee chairman Keith Vaz.
Home Affairs committee chairman Keith Vaz. Credit: PA/PA Wire

Mr Vaz said: "Police and Crime Panels should make more active use of their powers to scrutinise decisions such as this.

"We will be returning to this area when we carry out our next major inquiry into Polic eand Crime Commissioners, towards the end of this year."

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MPs: 'Nearly four decades' to clear immigration backlog

The backlog of immigration cases at Britain's border service has hit half a million people and at the current rate of progress will take nearly four decades to clear, a group of MPs has warned.

Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz said: "At the current rate it will take 37 years to clear and the Home Office cannot confirm that this is the last of the backlogs."

Read: Immigration backlog '500,000'

Immigration Minister backs new government visa service

Immigration Minister Mark Harper has backed the Government's new UK Visas and Immigration Service to clear Britain's backlog of immigration cases.

The UK Border Agency was a troubled organisation for many years, which is why the Home Secretary took the decision to split the agency in March this year.

The new UK Visas and Immigration Service has a clear focus to improve visa performance and customer service, while the Immigration Enforcement Command concentrates on those who break our immigration laws.

Both now report directly to ministers, delivering greater transparency and accountability.

It will take a long time to clear the backlogs we inherited - but through the changes we have made we are in a much stronger position to do so.

Read: UK's immigration backlog 'could take 37 years to clear'

Vaz criticises Home Secretary over immigration backlog

Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz MP has criticised Home Secretary Theresa May following the Committee's latest report into the backlog of immigration cases in Britain.

He said:

The backlog of cases has now hit a staggering half a million people. This could fill Wembley Stadium to capacity six times over.

At the current rate it will take 37 years to clear and the Home Office cannot confirm that this is the last of the backlogs.

Theresa May described the UK Border Agency as 'closed, secretive and defensive', however, despite abolition nothing appears to have changed apart from the name. If people at the top are not replaced this will only be an exercise in rebranding as has happened in previous reincarnations.

There should be no more bonuses paid to any senior management at the Home Office until the backlogs are cleared.

After a raft of damning reports, Home Secretary Theresa May abolished the UKBA and replaced it with UK Visas and Immigration and an Immigration Enforcement command, which were brought back under the control of ministers.

Read: UK's immigration backlog 'could take 37 years to clear'

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