As a birthday present to me today, the Home Office answered my latest FOI request in time, but alas it confirms our worst fears. Following the horrifying case of two original EU passports vanishing in Durham without a trace and Home Office STILL doing NOTHING about it, compounded by my suspicions that the passports have been stolen at the Durham facility handled by an external contractor — and, further, my suspicion that HO will use the same or similar contractor to staff the entire new EU documents process, I requested the details of WHO are the people entrusted with passports in Durham, which is supposed to, currently, constitute copying and returning of all the EU and British passports. You can read the response in full on the attached link, as well as the job specification they sent. As you can see, the people in question are NOT civil servants, and are not required to be UK or EEA citizens, which makes a threat to original documents very real. The HO appears to refuse to divulge the precise details and level of background checks needed.
My friend and client had walked away ealier this month from a JR application – we both lingered outside for a bit of where his oral renewal of permission hearing, which he paid for, was scheduled — but decided not to go in. That is, when we found out that the judge assigned was an “employment law lion”, according to his biography. Permission on papers was denied by a medical law solicitor, sitting as a high court judge for unclear reasons. The government was represented by a lawyer qualified in New Zealand. Our JR was on a procedural question of EU … Continue reading →