PMQs today was all about the landing cards – documents that could have shown when Commonwealth citizens arrived in the UK – that were destroyed by the UK Border Agency during an office move in 2010.
Corbyn tried to pin the decision on May who was home secretary in 2010 when it was thought to have been taken. Not so, said May, “the decision to destroy the landing cards was taken in 2009 under a Labour government”.
Now this was odd because on Tuesday he Home Office said that the decision was taken in 2010 by the UK Border Agency – when the PM was home secretary.
But speaking in the Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, May contradicted this. She went for the classic Dead Cat approach as she created confusion as to whether May was stating that the Labour government itself had taken the decision, or was saying that it was made during the party’s time in office.
To further muddy the water May-Day continued with the confusion as Number 10 sought to provide clarity after PMQs, saying the destruction of the landing cards was an “operational decision” by the UK Border Agency in 2009, meaning it was not a ministerial decision.
In a further attempt to clarify the timeline, Downing Street said the business case for disposing of the paper records was approved by Border Agency in June 2009, while the operational decision to actually begin destroying the slips was enacted in October 2010 when the Conservative-led coalition was in power.
A spokesman said May was not involved in the decision and it was taken at official level. Odd how everything involving May is always somebody else’s fault,
No doubt that by the morning the blame will have shifted yet again.