Home Office needs root and branch reform, not a shake-up or refurb – Mercy Muroki says

Is there any single Government department that is as beset with failure, and as chronically incompetent as the Home Office?

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Is there any single Government department that is as beset with failure, and as chronically incompetent as the Home Office?

I'll give you a clue - no. No, in my opinion, there isn't.

To say the department has a catalogue of failures is a massive understatement. It has a whole blooming library.

The latest one? Well...

After setting up a visa scheme for Ukranians fleeing war to join British families, which opened on March 18th – it’s emerged the Home Office is doing what the Home Office does best – making a dog’s dinner of it.

So far, around 4,700 visas have been granted under the Homes for Ukraine scheme — out of 32,300 applications.

So far, the so-called 24-hour hotline set up for families opening up their homes turns out to be shut for half of the day, oh - and shut on weekends.

So far, the promised mammoth operation to prepare for an unlimited, indefinite number of refugees applications under the scheme is being handled by a grand total of… * checks notes * 15 staff.

So far, the supposed 48 hour application processing time families wanting to house refugees were promised has turned to weeks. In fact, some families are yet to hear back after applying the very day the scheme opened last month.

Asked to explain what on earth was going on, why the system was failing so monumentally, the Government's refugee minister gave this clarification, and I quote:

“[The system] has not worked. A glitch maybe. Whatever the reason, it has not worked.”

Well, thank you, Minister for that enlightening intervention. Glad to see you're on top of it.

And, to make it worse, now it's emerged that the Home Office has been forced to rewrite guidance for Ukrainian refugee call centre workers because they've been giving out incorrect information.

Which could be forgivable if it weren’t peoples literal lives at state. That faulty information it has been giving out has actually - wrongly - stopped desperate Ukrainian mothers and children from flying to the UK to find refuge.

Officials also claim “technical issues” have stopped travel forms being sent to refugees.

It’s no wonder Priti Patel’s popularity rating amongst the Conservative Party’s own party members has gone in the red. The Home Secretary's net satisfaction rating is now –13.6 among the party faithful, according to Conservative Home’s regular cabinet league table.

Quite the feat for a woman who has positioned herself as a tough on law and order, good old, proper Tory.

The Government's been blighted by allegations of endless wine parties, to me all the endless incompetence suggests that they couldn’t even organise a knees-up a brewery.

Yes, the Home Office does do some good. It isn't all bad. But maybe it's worth throwing the baby out with the bathwater on this one. The Home Office doesn’t need a shake-up, or a refurb, it needs a complete overhaul.

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