Where a decision is to be made by the Minister (rather than a DDM) which has factual or legal complexities, or is unusual or novel, the Minister should request and receive advice from INZ (as and when the Minister considers necessary).
Translation – the Minister didn’t ask for any legal advice. Previous Minister did.
Stuff also reports:
Grounds contained in the case file summary, which Lees-Galloway used to make his decision, were understood by immigration officials to be “sufficiently powerful”, such that the original decision of the minister was unexpected, the report says.
Immigration stuff were stunned that the Minister gave residency to a convicted drug dealer. This wasn’t even close to a borderline call. It was an obvious slam dunk no.
But for some reasons ILG said yes – possibly due to lobbying from well connected friends.