CaribWorldNews, LONDON, England, Thurs. Sept. 17, 2009: Britian`s Dominica-born, attorney general, Baroness Patricia Janet Scotland of Asthal, has come under fire in the media here for her hiring of an undocumented worker.
The AG, who is in charge of prosecuting criminals, hired Loloahi Tapui, 27, from Tonga, to look after her large family home in West London, which the baroness shares with her barrister husband and two teenage sons.
Lady Scotland said she did not know Tapui had overstayed her visa and was no longer legally entitled to work in the UK. The helper had been working for the attorney general for about six months and said the job was arranged by Lady Scotland`s personal assistant.
Yesterday, amid the brouhaha in the media, Baroness Scotland fired the Tonga native immediately. In a statement last night, Baroness Scotland`s office said Tapui was hired in `good faith` but had been dismissed after her immigration status emerged.
`Baroness Scotland never knowingly employed an illegal immigrant,` the statement said while adding: `Baroness Scotland saw documents which led her to believe Ms Tapui was entitled to work in this country. Prior to being hired, Ms Tapui was in registered employment. She is registered for tax and insurance and at no point prior to the matter being raised today did Baroness Scotland believe there was any question over her entitlement to work. She has now been dismissed with immediate effect.`
Employing an undocumented migrant in the UK is punishable by a £10,000 fine, under legislation that the Baroness herself helped steer through the British Parliament as a Home Office minister in 2006.
Lady Scotland is the first-ever female attorney general.
Tapui has living in the UK in 2003 and successfully applied for a student visa, which entitled her to work legally. However, her application a year later for an extension was turned down and she was told she should leave the country. Instead, she chose to join the estimated two million people working as undocumented workers in the UK.