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Law Chief 'Must Face Probe for Hiring Illegal Immigrant as Cleaner'

The Evening Standard (London, England), September 17, 2009 | Go to article overview

Law Chief 'Must Face Probe for Hiring Illegal Immigrant as Cleaner'


Byline: Nicholas Cecil Chief Political Correspondent

BRITAIN'S border agency was today urged to investigate the Attorney General for allegedly employing an illegal immigrant.

Baroness Scotland, the Government's chief law officer, sacked her Tongan housekeeper Loloahi Tapui after it emerged that she was reportedly working illegally.

But MPs today warned that Lady Scotland must not be treated differently from other firms or individuals who employ illegal immigrants.

Tory MP Patrick Mercer, who sits on the Commons home affairs select committee, said: "The border agency needs to look into this with some urgency.

"Ministers certainly can't be above the law."

If Lady Scotland was found to have breached immigration employment rules, she could be fined up to [pounds sterling]10,000, though a smaller of penalty of [pounds sterling]2,500 can be imposed for a partial failure to fully check employees' documents.

Lady Scotland, who as Attorney General is responsible for all court litigation, insisted that she had believed Ms Tapui, 27, was entitled to work in Britain.

She had been looking after Lady Scotland's [pounds sterling]2 million family home in west London, which she shares with her barrister husband Richard Mawhinney and their two teenage sons, for the past six months.

But she allegedly had been living in Britain illegally for five years after overstaying a student visa.

Lady Scotland's office announced that Ms Tapui had been dismissed after details of her immigration status became known.

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Law Chief 'Must Face Probe for Hiring Illegal Immigrant as Cleaner'
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