Nick Timothy reviewing Home Office 'structures and systems'

Theresa May's former adviser is working as an independent consultant at the department
Photo: Lee Thomas/Alamy Stock Photo

Theresa May’s former aide Nick Timothy has been been called in to “review the effectiveness” of the Home Office.

Timothy, who was an adviser to May both when she was home secretary and prime minister, has been appointed as an independent consultant to "advise on structures and systems which support the home secretary in the Home Office", a departmental spokesperson said.

He took up the unpaid position on 12 December and will continue his work until the end of February, they confirmed.

He was brought in following a series of scandals including overcrowding and poor living conditions at the Manston asylum centre last year.

The former No.10 adviser, who served as joint chief of staff to the then-PM along with Fiona Hill, co-authored a report last month that called for “immediate and bold action” to reduce the number of asylum seekers crossing the Channel to reach the UK.

The Centre for Policy Studies report, which featured a foreword by home secretary Suella Braverman, called for asylum seekers who enter the UK illegally to be detained indefinitely and “rapidly” deported to Rwanda. It also called for more agreements like the one the government has with the east African country to “process” and resettle asylum seekers who seek refuge in the UK.

Other policy changes the paper called for included the creation of an identity database and system of mandatory identity cards.

The report comes days after Braverman walked back a pledge to implement three recommendations from Wendy Williams’s lessons-learned review into the Windrush scandal, intended to improve the running of the department and ensure previous harms are not repeated.

The former police watchdog 2020 report said the Home Office had displayed “institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness” on race during the scandal, which saw members of the Windrush generation wrongly denied access to public services, housing and jobs, and even deported.

But despite then-home secretary Priti Patel’s pledge to implement the review’s 30 recommendations, Braverman said last week that the department would no longer implement three:  to run “reconciliation events” for victims; introduce a commissioner responsible for migrants; and review the role and remit of the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration.

Braverman said the Home Office had made “sustained progress” on delivering Williams’ recommendations – but information published by the department alongside her statement showed just eight have been met so far.

The report follows this weekend’s news that a Home Office data error led to welfare benefits incorrectly being paid to thousands of EU citizens whose applications for settled status in the UK were unsuccessful.

Timothy has been outspoken on a range of policy issues including immigration and education since he left government following the 2017 general election.

Three years after leaving, Timothy became a non-executive director at the Department for Education. He left that post in June 2022.

He has previously been outspoken on education policy, calling for an expansion of technical qualifications in 2017 and labelling the university tuition fee system a “pointless Ponzi scheme”.

CSW has approached the Home Office for a comment.

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