Heathrow airport passport shambles “cover-up” bid by Border Agency

08:14 30 April 2012

UK border chiefs at Heathrow airport were accused of mounting a cover up bid to hide lengthy delays endured by passengers.

The Border Agency wants passengers banned from taking pictures of three hour long queues.

Leaflets which apologise for the delays should also not be handed out, demanded Marc Owen; director of the UK Border to the airport’s operater.

Heathrow operator BAA claimed people arriving in the country “deserved a warmer welcome” - the leaflets explaining how to complain to the Home Office.

But in a leaked email, Mr Owen, told BAA the leaflets are “inappropriate” and that ministers would take “a very dim view”.

“The leaflet... is both inflammatory and likely to increase tensions in arrivals halls especially in the current atmosphere.

“It is inappropriate in that it is not for you to display how to complain on our behalf.

“Please refrain from handing out (the leaflets) or I will escalate (the matter) with ministers who are likely to take a very dim view. I know there are copies in the hall and your troops are ready with them,” said Mr Own in the email seen by the Telegraph.

Former transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour’s aviation spokesman, said: “This is a pure cover-up. I can understand people wanting to take pictures of the queues. This is further evidence of Border Force trying to hide the severity of the problem.

“Passengers need to know how to register complaints and for Border Force to try to prevent them doing so is outrageous.”

In a joint statement, the Border Force and BAA said: “The majority of passengers pass through immigration control quickly but there are sometimes delays at airports for a range of reasons.

“We think it’s important passengers are given the full picture.

“We will not compromise border security but we will work together to keep delays to a minimum.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Katy Perry has been ramping up the anticipation for her Super Bowl performance.

Read more

The Libertines are set to headline T In The Park this year.

Read more

This puppy/horse/friendship combo is going to melt your heart.

Read more

Promoted content

Valentine's Day Afternoon Tea

London Hilton on Park Lane is inviting couples to celebrate this Valentines Day over a deliciously romantic afternoon tea at Podium Restaurant and Bar. Taking inspiration from the highly popular Confessions of a Chocoholic Afternoon Tea, London Hilton on Park Lane presents the ultimate romantic afternoon out with its Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea.

Established in 1987, Tucci is one of the North's premier stores for branded clothing, footwear and accessories.

Save up to 70% on designer brands for Men and Women, including G-Star, Diesel, French Connection, Firetrap and many more….our sale is now on.

Valentine's Day in London

If you’re struggling over what to buy for the special person in your life in your life, our Valentine’s Day in London section is here to help.

The robot is an extension of the surgeon’s arms – it’s not doing anything independently.

The rise is levelling off but we can’t be complacent, say researchers.

The lollipop man has been unable to return to work since the attack.

Finding the jet remains a priority for Malaysia.

TOP Stories

45 minutes ago
Boris Johnson gave a typically statesmanlike response to questions about IS  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

In typically statesmanlike fashion when asked about the sorts of people lured to join organisations like Islamic State - Boris Johnson labelled them all as ‘w*****s’ obsessed with pornography.

Officers want to speak to this man after a sex attack in Startford (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

Officers have released a CCTV image of a man they want to speak to after a woman was subjected to a sex attack in the bathroom of a Travelodge in east London.

Yesterday, 15:41
Paul Kohler was left with horrific injuries [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

A professor who was savagely beaten in his Wimbledon home by a gang of Polish burglars said the attack should not be used to justify racism, and praised the local Polish community.

London Bloggers

Monday, December 22, 2014
Around 25 per cent of the population self-identity as having no religion yet still enjoy the fun of Christmas (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

It’s Christmas time. We know this by the light-adorned streets, the mobility hazard posed by boxes of Quality Street, Roses and Celebrations in every supermarket’s entrance and, of course, the incessant radio-plays of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.