Featured Video 10 March, 2023

Ministerial insights: why is the Home Office so hard to run?

Once dubbed “not fit for purpose”, the Home Office has long been seen as a difficult department to lead. Heavily operational, this great office of state is responsible for deeply complex and high-risk services such as border security, counterterrorism, and immigration control – all headline-creating topics and ones which can easily result in unexpected crises. It is also accountable for policing, though with limited ability to influence operational delivery across 43 separate forces. In short, the Home Office is one of the toughest briefs in government.  

In this event, we explored why the department is so hard to lead, what measures can be taken to improve performance, and how the Government's current plans address the demands faced by the Home Office.

Reform was delighted to be joined by two former Home Secretaries, Rt Hon Amber Rudd and Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, for a cross-party view of the challenges involved in leading the Home Office and broader lessons for Whitehall reform.