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Saturday, June 12, 2004

Scotsman.com News - Latest News - Immigration Whistle-Blower 'Withdrawn from Post'

Scotsman.com News - Latest News - Immigration Whistle-Blower 'Withdrawn from Post'

A British diplomat who exposed a series of immigration scams is facing investigation over “serious anomalies” in the handling of visa applications, it was disclosed tonight.

The Foreign Office said James Cameron, the British consul in Romania, had been withdrawn from his post in Bucharest and recalled to London while an investigation was carried out.

Mr Cameron was responsible for exposing abuses of the immigration system – including the issuing of a visa to a one-legged Romanian roof tiler – which led to the resignation of the immigration minister Beverley Hughes.

The Sunday Times tonight reported that Mr Cameron had told friends that he was the victim of a “political prosecution” for providing “ammunition” to the Tories to attack the Government.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that James Cameron, a diplomatic service officer in Bucharest doing visa and consular work, has now been withdrawn.

“Information has come to light that points to serious anomalies in the handling of visa applications in Bucharest and he has been asked to return to London while and investigation into these anomalies is conducted.”

Mr Cameron was originally suspended last March after emailing shadow home secretary David Davis about concerns over the fast-tracking of visa applications from Romania and Bulgaria without proper checks.

Ms Hughes originally denied that she had known of the concerns among officials but was forced to quit after it emerged that she had been alerted to the problem by another minister.

Mr Davis said: “Had it not been for James Cameron’s brave actions, much of the failures, misdemeanours and deceit would not have been exposed”.

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