Extremist At The Home Office Will Keep His Job

{mosimage}A Home Office official exposed as a leading member of an Islamic extremist group will keep his £40,000 job because Tony Blair has failed to ban the organisation.

In the wake of the July 7 bombings last year, the Prime Minister promised to outlaw Hizb ut-Tahrir, who refuses to condemn suicide bombers and has called for the destruction of Israel.

But nothing has been done. As a result, Abid Javaid’s bosses at the scandal-hit Immigration and Nationality Directorate are powerless to sack the 41-year-old.

He will stay on unless it can be proved that he abused his position as a senior executive officer in the IT department. As Home Secretary John Reid launched an inquiry yesterday, the Kenyan-born father of four was ‘working from home’ with the permission of senior officials.

Any attempt to remove him would almost certainly lead to a costly employment tribunal. Mr Javaid, from Thornton Heath, South London, will now be subjected to a fresh round of security vetting.

His work computer at Lunar House in Croydon, South London, will be examined to see if he has accessed any sensitive files without authorisation or used it to assist his political activism.

The extraordinary case, as well as laying bare the consequences of Mr Blair’s failure to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, also reveals a loophole in Civil Service rules.

Both the prison service and police can ban their staff from belonging to extremist groups, even if the organisation is not proscribed.

Police officers, for example, are barred from being members of the BNP. But Whitehall sources said there is ‘no such clarity’ for the rest of the civil service.

It leaves the door open for hundreds of hardliners to secure jobs at the heart of Government.

Tory spokesman Patrick Mercer blamed a huge failure of political will by the Government for the shambles.

He said: ‘This government talks tough, but fails to deliver, and here is a prime example.

‘The result is the Home Office doing nothing about somebody working at the heart of Government who could be an enemy of the state.’

Mr Mercer warned that – as the rules stand – dozens more extremists could be employed in the Home Office and across Whitehall.

Sources at Croydon mosque, which has been trying to expel extremists, said Mr Javaid was a senior operative for Hizb ut-Tahrir in the South East and helped distribute its literature.

Mr Javaid is believed to have worked at the Home Office for some years and is currently in charge of a small team of staff buying IT equipment and handing out contracts.

He was security-cleared before taking the job without concerns being raised. The application form contains a question asking for the declaration of any terrorist groups – but Hizb ut-Tahir does not fall into this category. It would have to be declared only if it were proscribed.

Mr Reid said yesterday: ‘If there has been a breach of the code of conduct or the Civil Service code by an employee, that will be dealt with, and dealt with robustly.’

Mr Javaid lives in a rented house with his wife, Wan, a 35-year-old maths teacher, and three daughters and one son. He declined to comment yesterday.