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Firm paid to deport migrants apologises after staff send racist WhatsApp texts

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Mitie CEO Phil Bentley admitted his outfit ‘let down the Home Office’ after staff traded sick texts on WhatsApp. Mr Bentley vowed to MPs he would ‘cut out the cancer’ of racism

Phil Bentley said Mitie ‘let down the Home Office’

Image: Western Daily Press)

The boss of a firm paid by taxpayers to humanely deport migrants has apologised over racist messages.

Mitie CEO Phil Bentley admitted his outfit “let down the Home Office” after staff traded sick texts on WhatsApp.

Mr Bentley vowed to MPs he would “cut out the cancer” of racism. In a second letter he personally apologised to Home Secretary Priti Patel, target of one jibe.

The remorse came after the Sunday Mirror exposed a raft of racist exchanges by staff in Mitie’s Care and Custody division.

It deports criminals, returns illegal migrants to their own country and runs detention centres. Offensive texts included “gags” about refugees swimming to the UK and a slur on “slanty-eyed” Chinese people.

Alison Thewliss, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Immigration
(

Image:

Richard Townshend Photography)


The Sunday Mirror front page last week

Mr Bentley’s 800-word letter was sent to Alison Thewliss, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Immigration.

Emma Ginn, director of campaign group Medical Justice, which works with the APPG, said: “This is astonishing and unprecedented. In 15 years we’ve never seen a letter like this. It’s quite extraordinary. We wonder if it is because these texts mention the Home Secretary.”

The Home Office ordered a probe and Mitie suspended a number of staff.

Mr Bentley said in his letter: “I apologise to those who rely on us to treat them with dignity and respect.

“I have written to the Home Secretary to apologise and assure her no stone will be left unturned to cut out this ‘cancer’.”

APPG chair Ms Thewliss, a Scottish National Party MP, has called for an independent review of all Home Office contractors. She said: “It is unacceptable. I will meet Mitie senior management to raise concerns face-to-face.”

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