Monday, 24 September, 2018

UK: New Home Secretary Javid pledges Windrush help

Amber Rudd news Theresa May BBC Windrush resign Getty•BBCAmber Rudd news Brandon Lewis said increased deportation was an"ambition
Jodi Jackson | 04 May, 2018, 14:20

The appointment of Sajid Javid as British home secretary, following the resignation of Amber Rudd on Sunday night, will strengthen the hard Brexiteers at senior levels in the cabinet and leave prime minister Theresa May still more isolated at a crucial point in the talks on the UK's departure from the EU.

Labour has said the targets contributed to the Government's "hostile environment" for illegal immigrants which led to members of the Windrush generation who were entitled to be in the United Kingdom being wrongly threatened with deportation.

As home secretary, Ms Rudd has had to restrict her public utterances on government Brexit policy, but behind closed doors she has advocated pursuing the closest possible relationship with the EU.

Secondly, Rudd told the Home Affairs Select Committee of Parliament last week that her office did not have targets to remove illegal immigrants from the United Kingdom, while leaks in the media revealed such targets existed.

It came amid the Windrush scandal, in which some migrants who settled in the United Kingdom between the 1940s and 1973 were wrongly being declared illegal immigrants.

Former UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd stepped down on Monday amid Windrush scandal concerning the mistreatment of long-term UK residents.

When asked whether targets for removals from the country were set, she replied: "We do not have targets for removals".

As Alan Johnson and Charles Clarke, Home Secretaries in the last Labour government, suggest, this scandal could possibly have been avoided if Mrs May had not in one of her first acts as Home Secretary in 2010 dropped plans to introduce identity cards. "At a time when we are trying to build our relationship with the Commonwealth post Brexit, for trade and other reasons, it is extremely damaging what has been revealed about the way the Windrush generation have been treated".

Some people who do not have the paperwork to prove they are in the United Kingdom legally have been detained.

Mr Javid said the phrase "hostile" was "unhelpful and does not represent our values as a country", preferring "a compliant environment".

Rudd, who was lauded for her handling of terror attacks in Britain in 2017, wrote to May: "It is with great regret that I am resigning as home secretary".

Although James Brokenshire's return as Communities Secretary sees one ally of Mrs May return to the Cabinet - his previous stint in Northern Ireland will have helped prepare him well for negotiations over Yorkshire devolution - the Prime Minister's commitment to fighting political injustice appears hollow. The first was the prime minister's own exposure to the fallout.

Since May lost her parliamentary majority in elections last June, her leadership has often been under question, and she has already suffered three prior cabinet resignations.

The latest resignation comes just days before local council elections in Britain, due to be held on May 3, during which the Opposition parties will hope to capitalise on some of the upheaval in government.

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