The Windrush Scandal: UK Home Secretary forced out over deportation quotas

04 May, 2018, 10:47 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Communities Secretary Sajid Javid is seen as a uniting figure and has issued a plea to ethnic minorities to look at the Government's efforts to'put things right over Windrush

Late Sunday, Amber Rudd resigned as Britain's home secretary following accusations that she lied to Parliament last week about deportation targets for illegal immigrants.

To cheers from members within the Chamber, she said: "Could I take the opportunity to congratulate my right honourable friend for Bromsgrove on his appointment to the Home Office".

Outrage at their treatment has piled pressure on May, who was home secretary between 2010 and 2016 and introduced tough immigration policies meant to make Britain a "hostile environment" for unauthorized migrants.

In a resignation letter to the prime minister, Rudd said she had "inadvertently" misled lawmakers.

"That's why I am so personally committed to and invested in resolving the difficulties faced by the people of the Windrush generation who have built their lives here and contributed so much".

Standing outside the Home Office Sajid Javid followed George Osborne, David Cameron and Theresa May in striking the awkward stance that is supposed to strike notes of confidence, determination and strength.

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May said she accepted that Rudd had spoken "in good faith" and was sorry to see her resign.

He is not particularly an ardent Remainer - although his appointment retains the balance on the vital Brexit cabinet committee.

"The home secretary was forced to step down after a series of revelations in the Guardian over Windrush culminated in a leak on Friday that appeared to show she was aware of targets for removing illegal migrants from Britain", reported The Guardian newspaper.

Named after the British ship Empire Windrush, which arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex with 492 Caribbean passengers in 1948, the Windrush immigrants never formalised their status, often because they were children who came over on their parents' passports and then never applied for their own.

One minister said most thought the Home Secretary job "would go to one of Mrs May's protegees".

Sajid Javid, the son of immigrants from Pakistan, pledged that his new department would learn the lessons of what happened to the so-called "Windrush generation" from the review, which would be concluded before the summer.

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The powers the House of Lords is demanding to be given a greater say over the final Brexit deal could force the government back to the negotiating table, and could even be used to halt Britain's departure.

Sajid Javid is yet to announce the specifics of any changes he'll make to the immigration policy.

Ludlow MP Philip Dunne also spoke of his sadness at Miss Rudd's resignation, but said he was pleased that her successor was an MP from the West Midlands.

He became a Treasury minister in 2013 and joined the Cabinet in 2014 as culture secretary before switching to business secretary in 2015 and communities secretary the following year.

James Brokenshire, who stepped down as Northern Ireland secretary in January to undergo lung operation, returned to cabinet to replace Javid in the housing, communities and local government brief.

Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin, said he was saddened by Miss Rudd's resignation, saying she should not be held entirely to blame for the Windrush affair.

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