Head of UK border force suspended

November 5, 2011 - 12:45 PM

LONDON (AP) — The British government has suspended the head of its border agency following claims that some passport checks were relaxed without the knowledge of senior officials.

The Home Office confirmed that it has suspended Brodie Clark, who was alleged to have authorized border officials to abandon certain checks on non-European nationals at borders, including Heathrow Airport and the port of Calais, to avoid long lines during the busy summer season.

The checks that allegedly were not carried out included the verification of fingerprints and biometric chips in passports, and the checking of personal details against a government database of terror suspects.

Home Secretary Theresa May said Saturday she has launched an independent inquiry into the allegations.