Baroness slams Heathrow queues

Baroness Smith of Basildon rose on the floor of the House of Lords to express her dismay at recent problems at Heathrow.

Baroness Smith said: “My Lords, does the noble Lord find it humiliating that the queues at Heathrow are the butt of Twitter messages and jokes around the world?

“Does he accept the strong criticism from the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration that the problems at Heathrow are caused by massive cuts of 15% of the staff, at the same time as massive organisational changes and a massive lack of good management; or, does he agree with the Immigration Minister in the other place, Damian Green, who says that since May 2010 there has been the wrong kind of wind?

Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Conservative)

“My Lords, the noble Baroness is very selective in what she says about my honourable friend’s evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee yesterday. That is not surprising. I say yet again that all we get from the Opposition is that this is due to a reduction in numbers of staff. It is nothing to do with reductions in numbers of staff.

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