On 8 December 2003, the Daily Mirror carried the front page headline:
"Mirror reporter lands job as security guard at asylum centre… and discovers a culture of abuse, racism and violence that SHOULD appal us all."
These were startling and worrying allegations. If true, they would have called into question not just the management of Yarl’s Wood and its oversight by the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate, as was, (now called the Border and Immigration Agency), but the fitness of the contractor, (then, Global Solutions Limited, now called GS4) to run any removal centre in this country.
The then Minister for Citizenship and Immigration, the Rt Hon Beverley Hughes MP, commissioned the Ombudsman to investigate the allegations. The report was published in February 2004. It contained 30 recommendations.