The new home secretary has wasted little time in getting started in her role – launching the promised Border Security Command (BSC) just days after her appointment. 

The BSC was one of the cornerstones of Sir Keir Starmer’s manifesto – Labour’s solution to the small boats crisis.

The set-up is being at least partly funded by diverting £75m from the now cancelled Rwanda scheme. 

Yvette Cooper has set out the first steps for establishing the BSC, which promises to “strengthen Britain’s borders security and smash the criminal smuggling gangs making millions out of small boat crossings”.

The plan includes the rapid recruitment of an “exceptional leader”, which begins tomorrow. 

‘We can’t carry on like this’

The new recruit, who is expected to take up their post in the coming weeks, will report directly to the office of the home secretary. 

They will be tasked with providing a “strategic direction” across agencies, including the National Crime Agency, police, immigration enforcement, and the Border Force.

Ms Cooper is also preparing early legislation which will introduce new counter-terror style powers for the BSC, and has commissioned an investigation into the routes and tactics used by smuggling gangs.

She said it would be a “major step change” in the UK’s efforts to tackle organised immigration crime, working “across Europe” and co-ordinating with prosecutors on the continent.

“We can’t carry on like this,” she said, adding the BSC will act as a “major upgrade” on the immigration system Labour have inherited. 

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