A series of senior staffing changes have been announced at the Home Office, with director general of immigration enforcement Hugh Ind and second permanent secretary Patsy Wilkinson to leave for other jobs in government.
Ind is to leave the department to lead the implementation of the Public Sector Apprenticeships Strategy in the Cabinet Office, while Wilkinson is to leave the department for what the Home Office described as a “national security role outside the department” from next month.
The changes come after Ind was at the centre of the row over Home Office deportation targets that led to then home secretary Amber Rudd’s resignation.
Rudd told the Home Affairs Select Committee in April the department did not have targets for deportation of illegal immigrants, although this was subsequently revealed to be untrue, leading to Rudd’s resignation on 29 April.
Following her departure for government, Rudd’s allies were accused of turning their fire on civil servants after emails leaked to The Sun and the Evening Standard showed Ind emailed Rudd to say “there were no targets” both ahead of and during the session. Removals targets was raised as part of the committee’s inquiry into the Windrush children, who came to the UK legally in the 1950s and 1960s but have since been threatened with deportation or denied access to public services because of uncertainty about their immigration status.
Home Office permanent secretary Sir Philip Rutnam subsequently told MPs that former Ministry of Justice chief Sir Alex Allan would undertake an urgent review of the advice given by civil servants to Rudd.
A spokesman for the department told Civil Service World that Rutnam had received the results of Allan’s review and was considering its conclusions, but said the staffing moves were not a result of the report and said Ind was “just moving department”.
Ind will be replaced by Tyson Hepple, currently director of asylum and protection in UK Visas and Immigration, on an interim basis from early next month.
The spokesman told CSW that they could not provide any additional information into Wilkinson’s new role at this time. A process to appoint her successor will commence in due course. Her portfolio in the department covers immigration and free movement policy, and oversight of the borders, immigration and citizenship system.
Rutnam has also been announced that Charu Gorasia, currently interim director general for finance at the Department for Work and Pensions has been appointed as the Home Office’s new director general for Capabilities and Resources. Gorasia will replace Fiona Spencer, who has filled the role in an interim basis since October 2017, and Spencer will now return to her role as the Home Office’s chief portfolio officer.
Announcing the appointments, Rutnam said: “I’m delighted that Charu will be joining the team at the Home Office, bringing with her a wealth of experience from DWP, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and UK Trade & Investment, and I look forward to working with Tyson in his new role.
“I also want to thank Patsy, Fiona and Hugh for their huge contribution to the Home Office in their senior roles and for their unswerving dedication to public service. I wish them every possible success going forward.”