LBW

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

OMG! Illegal Immigrant Found Working In UK Parliament!


There have been at least two previous cases of illegal migrants working in parliament, including Miss Aparecida. In 2010, a Nigerian woman living illegally in Britain was found to have worked for the House of Lords catering team for six months

An investigation has begun into a major breach of security at the House of Commons after an illegal migrant was found working there as a cleaner.



​The woman, believed to be from Sierra Leone, was arrested on Friday after it was found her passport was forged.

She had been working at the Palace of Westminster for two months as a member of the catering team and her status as a casual worker meant that she was required to be escorted at all times on the parliamentary estate.

However, it was claimed last night that she had been able to roam freely around Parliament by using a pass owned by a permanent staff member.

Police and Commons officials are now understood to be investigating whether the woman was able to access any sensitive documents and, if so, whether these were passed on to a third party outside of the Palace of Westminster.

It is believed that the external recruitment agency which supplied the woman had been responsible for performing checks on her background.

The breach comes at a time of heightened national security, with the threat level raised from substantial to severe at the end of last summer amid fears of a jihadist attack.

It raises serious questions about parliament's system of security checks. The woman's role in the catering service, which is responsible for all Commons caf├ęs and private dining rooms, would have granted her access to senior ministers and MPs.

Keith Vaz, the chairman of the home affairs committee, said that the revelation was "deeply disappointing".

Mr Vaz, who also sits on the administration committee that oversees the running of the House, told The Times: "Of all the places where one would assume that passports and the right to work are checked, parliament is No 1. There needs to be a proper inquiry into how this has happened."

Mark Field, a Conservative member of the intelligence and security committee, said it was a "pretty depressing" discovery. "A lot of employers across the country have strict rules they have to adhere to. They will not be impressed that parliament itself is failing in this regard."

The case has similarities to an incident in 2008, in which a Brazilian woman was arrested after trying to enter parliament using another person's security pass.

Elaine Chaves Aparecida, an illegal migrant, had been hired by an external agency to work as a cleaner.

A spokeswoman for the Commons, which confirmed the latest arrest, said: "A worker for an agency contracted by the House of Commons was arrested by the Metropolitan Police on Friday January 2. We cannot comment on ongoing police investigations."

Parliamentary authorities did not respond to a request for a comment on the allegation that the woman was using someone else's pass.

The security lapse could be personally embarrassing for Theresa May, who has made tackling illegal immigration one of her priorities as home secretary over the past four years.

The immigration service has however been beset by scandals in recent years.

In December it emerged that criminals and illegal workers were among those to have been granted British citizenship.

Last February, one of Mrs May's own ministers resigned after discovering that his Colombian cleaner did not have permission to work in the UK. Mark Harper stepped down as immigration minister after admitting the mistake.

There have been at least two previous cases of illegal migrants working in parliament, including Miss Aparecida. In 2010, a Nigerian woman living illegally in Britain was found to have worked for the House of Lords catering team for six months .

Miss Aparecida was detained by police after a random check on her security pass showed that it belonged to someone else. She had been working at the Commons as the employee of a cleaning company, Emprise Services.

Under questioning, Miss Chaves, 31, admitted that she had run away from immigration officials at Heathrow Terminal 4 in December 2004 before she could be refused entry.

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