British Immigration Minister Resigns After Employing Illegal Immigrant

Mark Harper leaves government after learning his cleaner was in U.K. illegally

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The immigration minister of the United Kingdom resigned Saturday after he was found to have employed an illegal immigrant.

Mark Harper announced his resignation from government in a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron after discovering that his cleaner is in the country illegally, the BBC reports. Harper said he ran a background check on his cleaner in 2007, but when he did a second check, he was informed she did not have indefinite leave to stay in the U.K.

The 43-year-old Conservative quit his position voluntarily, saying, “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,” he said. He said he would continue to serve as a member of parliament.

Harper has been considered tough on illegal immigration in the U.K., and sought to clamp down on benefit claims from E.U. immigrants.