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UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd has resigned over the Windrush scandal

Theresa May said she accepted her resignation this evening.

Windrush generation immigration controversyHome Secretary Amber RuddSource: PA

UK PRIME MINISTER Theresa May has accepted the resignation of her Home Secretary Amber Rudd this evening.

Downing Street confirmed the development with a No 10 spokesman telling the BBC: “The Prime Minister has tonight accepted the resignation of the Home Secretary.”

Rudd telephoned May to inform her of her decision in response to the continuing controversy over the treatment of the so-called Windrush generation in Great Britain.

It had emerged in the past 24 hours that she may have misled a committee of MPs over whether her department had targets for removing a certain amount of illegal immigrants from the country over a given period of time.

The Guardian published a memo from Rudd to May which outlined how she had an “aim of increasing the number of enforced removals by more than 10% over the next few years”. She had told the home affairs select committee that her department did not work off targets.

Earlier this month, May’s government was forced into a climbdown and apology over threats to deport Caribbean-born citizens who were granted the right to live and work in Britain after the Second World War.

The so-called Windrush generation began arriving in the UK from Commonwealth countries in 1948 to help rebuild the country after the Second World War, and were given indefinite leave to remain. Having lost hundreds of thousands of people, particularly working-aged men, during the war, the country needed labour and the Commonwealth provided the answer.

Because many were born in countries that were still colonies, they were legally British and granted leave to stay indefinitely.

While most lived without incident for decades, recent focus on immigration by Rudd’s department changed that. In recent years, since a 2012 law change, a government clampdown on illegal immigration has begun to identify those without papers – scooping up many elderly people from the Windrush generation.

Numerous cases have been highlighted where those who lack the proper documents were told they need evidence to continue working, get NHS treatment or even remain in the UK.

At a meeting on 17 April, May told representatives of the 12 Caribbean members of the Commonwealth that she took the treatment of the Windrush generation “very seriously”.

“I want to apologise to you today. Because we are genuinely sorry for any anxiety that has been caused,” she said.

“I want to dispel any impression that my government is in some sense clamping down on Commonwealth citizens, particularly those from the Caribbean.”

With reporting by Paul Hosford 

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