Home Office seeks ‘exceptional leader’ for border security commander role

Department offers up to £200k-a-year for chief of new Border Security Command
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover by Border Force officers. Photo: PA/Alamy

By Joseph Williams

10 Jul 2024

The Home Office is offering a salary of up to £200,000 for a boss to lead the new Border Security Command.

New home secretary Yvette Cooper has launched the command as part of the government's plan to tackle illegal border crossings as it departs from the Conservatives’ Rwanda scheme.

The border security commander will be offered between £140,000-£200,000 to tackle border security threats and will be directly accountable to the home secretary.

The role aims to “ensure the border security system has the right capabilities to address the threats facing it,” the job advert states. Responsibilities include “providing strategic direction and performance management of the system; developing policy; deploying funding and other levers to drive improvements in border security; and addressing organised immigration crime".

New legislation is currently being drawn up to provide the office with counter terror-style powers.

Former counter-terrorism chief Neil Basu is the leading candidate for the role, according to reports.

The commander will work with domestic and international partners in the migration and borders system, law enforcement, the Crown Prosecution Service, and more.

As such the Home Office’s ideal candidate is “an exceptional leader with senior-level experience of delivering through a large and geographically dispersed workforce, which spans several disciplines and specialisms.” The role will also require “resilience in managing competing pressures, pace, uncertainty, resistance, complexity and competing interests.”

The location of the role is flexible - the advert lists cities including Belfast, Manchester, Durham and Glasgow but adds that frequent travel to London is expected. It is also expected that the successful candidate will stay within the job for three years.

The job comes with a generous salary of up to £200,000 and a pension contribution of 27%

The Border Security Command was an integral part of Labour’s manifesto. The new office is part of Labour’s strategy to “smash the criminal smuggling gangs making millions out of small boat crossings”.

The scheme, shut down by the Labour government in its first few days in government, has cost around £270m. Yvette Cooper described it as a “complete con” and Keir Starmer stated that, at most, it would have deported “less than 1%” of small boats arrivals.

Cooper has now announced an audit of the Rwanda scheme in an attempt to reclaim some of the money spent.

Applications for the border security commander role close at 11:55pm on 4 August.


Security & Defence HR
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