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Attorney General in illegal immigrant row

22 September 2009

Baroness Scotland, the Attorney General, has said she “never knowingly employed” an illegal immigrant, following a story published in the Daily Mail about her housekeeper.

The Border Agency is investigating the case and the Attorney General could face a £10,000 fine. In a statement issued last by a special adviser, Baroness Scotland said Loloahi Tapui, 27, had been dismissed “with immediate effect”.

The statement said she had hired Tapui, from Tonga, in “good faith and saw documents which led her to believe that Ms Tapui was entitled to work in this country.”

The statement said Ms Tapui lived in London and is understood to be married to a British national.

“Prior to being hired by Baroness Scotland she was in registered employment. She is registered for tax and insurance.

“Baroness Scotland has paid tax and national insurance in relation to her employment.

“At no stage prior to the matter being raised yesterday did Baroness Scotland believe there was any question over Ms Tapui’s entitlement to work.”

According to the Daily Mail, Tapui had overstayed on a student visa.

Baroness Scotland became Attorney General in 2007, the first woman or member of an ethnic minority to hold the post.

She was previously minister if state at the Home Office, where she was responsible for anti-social behaviour, youth crime, domestic violence and legislation in the House of Lords, including the Immigration, Nationality and Asylum Act 2006.

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