The head of two Home Office sections, Mark Thomson, director general of HM Passport Office (HMPO) and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), will leave his office in March next year.
Thompson’s decision was made known through a leaked email that he sent to his staff.
“The sharp-eyed amongst you may notice that my job has been advertised today. I wanted to let you all know that after five years in the Home Office I have decided the time has come for me to move on and leave my position as director-general of UKVI and HMPO,” he wrote.
A Home Office spokesperson confirmed Thomson’s decision to resign next year.
“Mark Thomson has made the decision to leave his post in March 2020 for personal reasons. His departure will be phased to ensure minimal disruption to both HM Passport Office and UK Visas and Immigration,” the spokesperson said.
Soon to be former director-general of HM Passport Office (HMPO) and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), Thomson was at the center of the Windrush scandal last year, which is the wrongful detention, of persons whose legal rights were denied and who were threatened with deportation,
Many of those affected had been British born or had arrived in the UK before 1973 from the Caribbean countries. In at least 83 cases people were wrongly deported by the Home Office.
Both departments that were so far led by Thomson, are set to have crucial roles in the issuance of passports and visas post-Brexit, in particular, if the UK exits the European Union without a deal.
Mark Thomson is the fourth in a row of government high officials leaving office within less than three months. Karen Wheeler, who was in charge of Brexit border delivery at HMRC retired in June, and Tom Shinner who was in charge of no-deal planning resigned in the same months. Later on July, Jon Thompson quit as the head of HMRC after claiming he received death threats over Brexit.
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