Home Office took staff to Crystal Maze attraction amid Windrush scandal

Home Office managers have been reminded to spend taxpayers’ money “carefully and wisely” after splashing thousands on a team-building trip to the Crystal Maze experience at the height of the Windrush scandal.

The department said the visit to the London attraction – offering teams the chance to experience the challenge of the popular Channel 4 game show presented by comedian Richard Ayoade – was needed to get away from the “distractions of the office”.

Details obtained by MailOnline under freedom of information (FOI) laws showed the department booked 48 tickets costing a total of £2,639.52 on 11 April last year for a visit on 8 May.

At the time, the department was being criticised over allegations of wrongly deporting Windrush generation immigrants – which prompted the resignation of then home secretary Amber Rudd on 29 April.

The department has moved to stress the team-building trip was unrelated to the scrutiny it faced over the scandal.

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The FOI response, seen by PA, said: “This was a team-building event for a team which had undergone significant recent restructuring and recruitment.

“The Crystal Maze event afforded an opportunity to rebuild team cohesion in an environment away from distractions of the office.”

The Home Office would not comment on whether more money was spent on travel and food for staff during the trip.

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