PCS accuses Home Office minister Damien Green over “significantly misleading statements” on 800 new jobs offered to resolve borders strike threat


The PCS says the position of Home Office minister Damian Green is “untenable” following his attempt to deny the government had made any concessions to lift the threat of a strike.

As part of its announcement that the Home Office strike planned for today would be called off, the union cited the 800 new jobs being advertised for border officers.

But Mr Green said he “did not recognise” these jobs, adding that some jobs had been advertised for “many weeks now”, with some posts already filled, and that “no new jobs have been advertised since the union threatened to strike”.

All of these claims were later shown to be false.

The union’s general secretary Mark Serwotka has now written to Mr Green about these “significantly misleading statements” to demand an apology and for all 800 jobs as advertised to be filled.

His letter says the minister’s claims were “either a deliberate attempt to mislead our members and the general public or an indication of a level of chaos at the top of the Home Office that raises serious concern”.

“As a result, PCS considers your position as a minister of state to be untenable.

“I call on you to apologise for misleading the public and Home Office staff.”

The timing of events contradicts Damian Green’s assertions in the media on Wednesday.

In fact, according to Mark Serwotka’s letter, the jobs were advertised on the Civil Service website on 20th July, the day after PCS had formally announced its strike plans.

Four days after the advertisement appeared, the union says Home Office management confirmed ‘significant investment’ in the Border Force, creating a further 300 jobs.

PCS says the additional jobs were the reason why Home Office union reps agreed to suspend today’s action.

The union is now calling on the minister “to honour the stated intention to recruit 800 staff in the border force.”

The chair of PCS‘s parliamentary group John McDonnell MP, whose constituency covers Heathrow Airport, has also called on prime minister David Cameron to replace Mr Green, saying: “The prime minister needs to get a grip and replace this minister. Someone so deeply out of his depth cannot be left in charge of such a sensitive area of policy.”

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