Your characterisation of the Home Office (Cruel, paranoid, failing: inside the Home Office, 13 May) does not match my experience during the year I have led it.
I have found a group of people committed to public service, determined to have a positive impact and focused on doing the right thing. Everyone at the Home Office acknowledges the wrongs and injustices of the past. We feel these every day and are determined to change. Our new values – compassionate, respectful, courageous, collaborative – set a different path for the future. Just this week, I was proud to hear that partners are noticing the difference as case workers consider “the face behind the case”.
Many of our people joined the Home Office because it can be a beacon of light for the vulnerable. We have successfully resettled nearly 25,000 refugees since 2015, secured the rights of nearly 5 million EU citizens, and opened a new visa route for those fleeing persecution in Hong Kong. Thousands of Home Office staff are proud to be safeguarding children, tackling violence against women, or dismantling the county lines drugs gangs that blight communities.
We are conscious that the decisions we take have an enormous impact on individual lives, and that comes with great responsibility. The work the Home Office does – on migration, crime and homeland security – is hugely important. We will not shy away from ensuring the safety of the UK and delivering on people’s priorities. We recognise that some will have different views; however, people have voted consistently for controlled immigration that welcomes talent and provides safe refuge, while preventing illegal entry and removing those with no right to be here.
As public servants, our job is to deliver on the priorities that the public care about and voted for. We are determined to do so, in line with our new values, and to learn the lessons of the past. We have shown that we have not just learned the lessons of Windrush but are also actively putting things right, having offered more than £26m to members of the Windrush generation. We are creating a more open culture to make sure these scandals do not happen again.
Permanent secretary, Home Office