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U.K. Immigration Minister Resigns After Hiring Illegal Cleaner

Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. Immigration Minister Mark Harper resigned after he was told his cleaner was working in the country illegally.

The Conservative member of Parliament “offered his resignation after he was informed that his cleaner did not have indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom, despite having shown him documents claiming she did,” the government said in a statement today. Prime Minister David Cameron accepted his resignation.

Harper said in a letter to Cameron dated yesterday he had verified on several occasions that her documents were in order and she had the right to work in the country. He hired the cleaner in 2007 and found out that she didn’t have indefinite leave to stay in Britain on Feb. 6, according to the letter.

“Although I complied with the law at all times, I consider that as immigration minister, who is taking legislation through Parliament which will toughen up our immigration laws, I should hold myself to a higher standard than expected of others,” Harper said in his letter.

“There is no suggestion that Mr. Harper knowingly employed an illegal immigrant,” the government said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Morgane Lapeyre in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Risser at

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