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New UK immigration watchdog appointed

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A new Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) has been appointed for a three-year term it has been announced. David Neal will replace David Bolt and will begin his appointment on Monday, 22 March. UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, welcomed Neal’s appointment.


The ICIBI is an independent border and UK immigration watchdog sponsored by the Home Office and reports back on the efficiency and effectiveness of the UK immigration, asylum, nationality and customs functions carried out by the Home Secretary, Home Office officials and others on Patel’s behalf.

Mr Neal has previously served as the head of the Royal Military Police and Commander of the 1st Military Police Brigade, according to a press release on the government’s official website.


Patel congratulates Neal

Commenting on David Neal’s appointment, Priti Patel said: “I congratulate David Neal on his appointment as Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration and look forward to working with him as he sets his inspection plan and makes recommendations to drive improvements across the Border, Immigration and Citizenship System.”

“Mr Neal will start his new role on 22 March 2021 and has been appointed on a 3-year term following a rigorous recruitment process in line with the Governance Code on Public Appointments,” Patel added.

Current ICIBI chief David Bolt – who steps down on 21 March 2021 - blasted the Home Secretary over the conditions asylum seekers were living in at two facilities. Bolt’s attack came following an inspection of Penally camp and Napier Barracks in Pembrokeshire and Kent.


Neal delighted to return to public service

Mr Neal said: “I am delighted to return to public service in such an important and high-profile role in an area which affects us all. I am honoured that the Home Secretary has appointed me as Chief Inspector, a role that is vital in monitoring and reporting on the efficiency and effectiveness of our country’s border and immigration functions. 

“I look forward to leading the team and continuing to deliver a comprehensive and high-quality inspection programme,” Mr Neal added.

David Neal’s illustrious career includes an appointment by Her Majesty The Queen as Provost Marshal (Army) and he commanded the 1st Military Police Brigade from 2016 until 2019. Meanwhile, he led the Royal Military Police through some major reforms, including the Service Justice Review System.

He was also responsible for Operation Northmoor, a Royal Military Police investigation into allegations of illegal killings in Afghanistan by British troops.

From 2015 to 2016, he was the senior Military Police and Gendarmerie officer in NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. Between 2012 and 2015 he was responsible for the assurance and inspection of the UK’s detention facilities around the world, including Afghanistan and Royal Navy ships. 

Between 2011 and 2012, Neal served as an instructor and mentor at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, educating and developing UK and international students from the military and civil service in preparation for their assumption of high rank.

The government press release states that Mr Neal is a 1994 graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst having read English Literature at Bangor University. He is also a Chartered Security Professional and Chartered Manager. can help with Sponsor Licences

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