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Customs officers to gain permission to enter and search people's homes without warrant

Customs officers are to gain permission to enter and search people's homes without a warrant in a law change a minister warns would allow them "more powers than the police".

Kit Malthouse, a Conservative MP who became a minister in this week’s reshuffle, said he is concerned about new powers for HM Revenue and Customs in the Finance Bill which is currently going through Parliament.

The changes were “an extension of the old excise men’s powers to deal with smugglers in ports and airports” he said, questioning “whether such powers are appropriate today".

He said: “I hope that Ministers will think carefully about whether it might be more appropriate for a warrant to be obtained to access someone’s premises, in the same way that the police do when they have suspicions.”

Speaking in the House of Commons before he was appointed to the Government, Mr Malthouse said the change to the law "would give...

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