Official: Heathrow Passport Control Queues 'Unacceptable'
Passport queues at London's Heathrow Airport have been "unacceptably long" during peak periods in recent days, according to Alan Travis of the London GUARDIAN. Its official complaint followed a 7am visit to Heathrow on Monday by Commons Home Affairs Committee Chair Keith Vaz. He said that he was "appalled to discover immigration queues of more than an hour" for non-EU passengers at Terminal 4 and that "half the passport desks were closed." Vaz's claims of fresh delays "triggered a row" with the Home Office and BAA, which insisted that the passport desks "were properly staffed and the longest queue was less than an hour." Vaz added that he would "raise the problem" with Immigration Minister Damian Green when he gives evidence to the Commons home affairs committee on Tuesday. Further pressure on the U.K. Border Force to "quickly sort the problem" is expected when Immigration Inspector John Vine publishes his report on Heathrow on Thursday (GUARDIAN, 7/9).