Amber Rudd resigns as UK Home Secretary over Windrush scandal

Saul Bowman
April 30, 2018

Hours before she was due to make statement to MPs, Rudd, one of the Cabinet's leading soft Brexiteers and a possible future Conservative leadership contender, quit as home secretary following fresh allegations she had misled the public over her department's targets to remove illegal immigrants. Although Ms Rudd was in charge at the Home Office when the Windrush scandal blew up, the policy that created the problem was invented by the previous home secretary-Mrs May.

The now former-Home Secretary had been forced to issue five official apologies in the last week - four of them over her team's handling of the Windrush crisis and immigration targets.

Diane Abbott, Labour's shadow home secretary, also seized on a letter sent by Rudd to Theresa May a year ago in which she explicitly mentioned her "ambitious, but deliverable" desire to step up deportations.

She was ultimately undone by the forensic probing of the Home Affairs Select Committee, when her evidence was contradicted by her own civil servants, who have now had their revenge.

He claimed that targets were "very different" from Ms Rudd's "ambition" to increase the number of illegal immigrants being deported.

Within minutes of Ms Rudd's resignation, Labour MPs were suggesting that she was carrying the can for the real culprit.

"Outstanding questions remain, and a change of Home Secretary must mean a change in the "hostile environment" policies begun by her predecessor, or it will be meaningless".

Rudd was facing new questions about whether she misled parliament after her former deputy said on Sunday he discussed with her a plan to increase deportations by 10 percent. Clearly there were targets, and Amber Rudd was aware of them.

The home secretary was accused on Wednesday by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of inheriting a failed policy and making it worse, as he called for her resignation.

But in recent years, successive British governments have sought to appear tough on illegal immigration, and their descendants are now struggling to prove a citizenship status they previously took for granted. "It's time for Rudd to go and for the government to rethink its whole approach".

April 2018 - Allegations that Windrush immigrants are being threatened with deportation break.

Her reward, when Theresa May became Prime Minister, was to succeed her at the Home Office, a top job but seen by many as a poisoned chalice.

She said: "A lot depends on what she knew and didn't know".

However, in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, he said the government was committed to "put things right" and he urged ethnic minority voters to look at the "bigger picture" when it came to Thursday's vote.

Lewis today contrasted "targets" with "ambitions", saying Rudd was aware only of the latter.

The Home Secretary is the victim of a "partisan campaign" against her and the Government, Michael Gove has said.

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