"Lin Homer, who runs the shambolic UK tax office, is awarded a damehood... Despite being repeatedly savaged by MPs and overseeing chaos year after year, the 58-year-old mother of three has moved ever higher up the civil service hierarchy from local government to the UK Border Agency and HMRC.
In a highly lucrative 35-year career in the public sector, Lin Homer has presided over a series of scandals and faced stinging criticism over her performance. - As chief executive of Birmingham City Council from 2002-05, where she earned £175,000 a year, Miss Homer was caught up in a postal votes scandal that ended up before the courts.
Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey said fraud in the city ‘would have disgraced a banana republic’ and said Miss Homer, acting as the city’s returning officer, had ‘thrown the rule book out of the window’. He said her decision to allow postal ballot papers to be transported to the count in shopping bags as ‘the direst folly’.
In 2005 she was appointed to run the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, part of the Home Office, on £200,000 a year. She inherited a department which was already in chaos, with asylum claims piling up, but on her watch the following year it emerged 1,000 foreign criminals had been mistakenly released, costing then home secretary Charles Clarke his job.
His successor, John Reid, declared the immigration system ‘not fit for purpose’. The same year it emerged 450,000 asylum cases had not been dealt with but left in boxes at the Home Office.
From the ruins of IND, Miss Homer designed, and became the boss of, the UK Border Agency, and is now earning £208,000 a year. Her tenure at UKBA was marked by a string of bad news stories and highly critical reports by MPs. More than 100,000 of the 400,000 asylum seekers found in the backlog were allowed to stay – in what MPs said amounted to an ‘amnesty’. Around 400 of the 1,000 foreign criminals were also told they could remain in Britain and dozens remained untraced.
Despite this, she and her staff were handed bonuses year after year. Over four years she earned nearly £1million. She moves to the Department for Transport as Permanent Secretary in 2011.
In 2012, Miss Homer was promoted to run HMRC on £185,000 a year, leading to Keith Vaz, the Home Affairs Committee chairman, warning about ‘rewarding failure’. Chancellor George Osborne defends the appointment saying she is a ‘very able public servant’.
In 2014 the tax office was rocked by a scandal over millions of miscalculated tax bills. This summer it emerged the taxman failed to answer 18 million phone calls from the public last year, more than a quarter of those it received.
In September Miss Homer admitted half of taxpayers who called the HMRC helpline did not get through during busy periods. Last month she apologised and urged taxpayers to contact officials online rather than by phone."On 26 February 2005, The Times told us that 'John Owen, Birmingham’s elections officer and one of the country’s leading experts on the subject,' gave 'evidence to a special election court convened to hear allegations of widespread fraud and vote-rigging in the June 2004 local elections.'
Owen told the court:
“The current system is open to abuse and therefore it’s easy to cheat and not to be caught out.”However, less than two months later, Owen, himself, had been suspended. A hidden crate of uncounted postal votes (containing an estimated 1,000 of them) from the previous year's local elections had been discovered by the West Midlands fraud squad IN HIS OFFICE!
The Birmingham City Post reported the resignation, in June 2005, of Ms Homer, Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, thus:
"Homer's brief tenure as Birmingham City Council chief executive was doomed from the moment Labour lost control of Britain's largest local authority almost a year ago. Both halves of the incoming Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition were acutely suspicious of Mrs Homer... The Tories were convinced her natural sympathies lay with Labour...
A few days before the 2003 city council elections, Mrs Homer delivered what was seen as an overtly political speech to the West Midlands CBI...
John Hemming, leader of the Liberal Democrat group... took issue with her over an apparent failure to crackdown on postal vote fraud at both the 2003 and 2004 elections...
The election commissioner, Richard Mawrey QC, cleared Mrs Homer, the returning officer, of the most serious allegations but did find fault with the way the election was run... Mrs Homer allowed too many corners to be cut, Mr Mawrey declared...
Although she is the Birmingham returning officer, with overall responsibility for running elections, Mrs Homer chose to hand the task of day-to-day management to council elections officer John Owen...
Matters went from bad to worse when, in April, more than 250 uncounted postal votes from the 2004 election were discovered by the police in a box in a locked cupboard in the council elections office.
John Hemming, who was tipped off about the box by a whistle-blower, insisted that Mrs Homer suspend elections officer John Owen and another member of staff. She was reluctant to do so."After telling its readership that Homer 'possesses formidable contacts at Government level,' The Post added:
A speech about race relations Mrs Homer delivered shortly after moving to Birmingham rather neatly sums up why she might find it challenging to work with a Conservative-led council. She related how, while travelling home to Suffolk by train, someone 'plonked themselves down next to me' looking exhausted because their bag had been stolen.
Mrs Homer was subjected to a 20-minute conversation about how everything that was wrong in this country was because of asylum seekers... Homer then set about attempting to convince the woman about the incorrectness of 'SUCH A STRONG AND INAPPROPRIATE SET OF VIEWS'.
The first reaction of Labour politicians to such a chain of events would undoubtedly be to praise their chief executive for holding enlightened views... Tories, however, might have wondered why there was no sympathy shown for the woman who had been mugged and had her bag stolen."In August 2005, just two months after her resignation from Birmingham City Council, the supposedly 'independent' Lin Homer was appointed Chief of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate by Tony Blair's New Labour government.
In this position she would oversee the scandal where 1,019 foreign prisoners, including murderers and rapists, were let loose early onto our streets, none of whom were subject to deportation orders!
On 8 March 2009, Radio 5 Live said this of the secretive 'charity,' Common Purpose:
"Its critics say it is a secret networking organisation at the heart of the establishment, with a hidden agenda and influence... The conspiracy theorists think Common Purpose is trying take over the world. They believe it is shaping people to work to its hidden agenda of promoting a European super-state, forcing diversity on British society, and imposing political correctness."The Radio 5 Live article also told us that 'the Department for Work and Pensions had spent £238,000 sending its people on Common Purpose courses between 2002 and 2007.'
Lin Homer is a Common Purpose 'graduate.'
On page 160 of 'Common Purpose Exposed,' a list of most of the known recipients of CP training, her name is featured.
Ultra-lucrative jobs for those prepared to lecture a stranger on the inappropriateness of her 'views' should she be overly critical of the asylum-seeker who recently mugged her.
Nice work if you can get it, this betraying your kinfolk lark, eh, Lin?