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UK Home Office slammed over citizenship approvals




British Home Secretary Theresa May
British Home Secretary Theresa May

British Home Secretary Theresa May has come under renewed pressure over her management of the immigration system after a report revealed a number of foreign nationals were granted UK citizenship without proper checks.
The report presented by Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine on Thursday found cases in which the Home Office approved foreigners with British citizenship without checking their criminal records in their home countries.



According to Vine, Home Office failed to conduct proper checks, with staff relying almost entirely on automated checks against the police national computer and immigration databases to confirm the “good character” of potential citizens.
The study, which was based on 179 applications, found citizenship was given to foreigners, who had entered the UK illegally and were working unlawfully or had a history of absconding.
In one case, an asylum seeker who had admitted to stabbing a person to death in his home country was given citizenship after an official did not review his files.
Vine also said the failure to conduct the checks “provided opportunities for a dishonest application to conceal a criminal history.”
Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, also commented on the findings, criticizing May for her department’s “serious failings.”
Cooper also accused May of trying to “bury bad news” by delaying the publication of the report for more than three months.
“When Home Office failures allow murderers to get British citizenship the Home Secretary should take action and not seek to manage the bad news,” said Cooper.
The report comes as May has come under criticism in recent months over her handling of the Home Office.
Earlier this month, a survey showed Border Force workers said they are unable to effectively protect British borders amid severe staff shortages.
In October, the Commons public accounts committee released a report revealing waste, mismanagement and IT problems in the country’s asylum system. According to the committee, 11,000 asylum seekers have been waiting for more than seven years for an initial decision on their refugee status.

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