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Tuesday 30 May 2023 Dublin: 14°C
# good ruddance
Pressure heaps on Theresa May after home secretary resigns over immigration scandal
Amber Rudd has been accused of falling on Theresa May’s sword.

Britain Politics Kirsty Wigglesworth / PA Images Amber Rudd has stepped down Kirsty Wigglesworth / PA Images / PA Images

THE OPPOSITION HEAPED pressure on UK Prime Minister Theresa May last night, after her Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned over the Windrush immigrants scandal.

Rudd’s resignation comes after the Guardian published a memo from her to the Prime Minister in which she outlined how she had an “aim of increasing the number of enforced removals by more than 10% over the next few years”.

During last week, however, she had told the home affairs select committee that her department did not work off targets.

“I should have been aware of this, and I take full responsibility for the fact that I was not,” she said in her resignation letter to May, conceding that she “inadvertently misled” the committee.

Her exit comes as a serious blow to the Conservative party leader, who had publicly declared her “full confidence” in Rudd as recently as Friday, with a potentially tough set of local elections for the party coming this Thursday.

The government has faced mounting controversy after it emerged that many from the Windrush generation, who came to Britain legitimately after World War II, had been wrongly threatened with deportation.

Labour MP David Lammy, who had previously spoken passionately in support of the Windrush generation, was critical of the “hostile environment policy” that caused this current crisis.

He said: “Amber Rudd resigned because she didn’t know what was going on in her own department and she had clearly lost the confidence of her own civil servants.

That policy must now be reviewed, and the Home Office must move quickly to compensate and grant citizenship to the Windrush generation.

Shadow Home Secretary, and Labour MP, Diane Abbott said it is now Theresa May who must answer questions, having held Rudd’s post before she became Prime Minister.

She said: “This was inevitable, the only surprise is that it took so long. The architect of this crisis, Theresa May, must now step forward to give a full and honest account of how this inexcusable situation happened on her watch.”

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable told the BBC that Rudd had “clearly jumped before she was pushed”, while Green Party leader Caroline Lucas said that May had “lost her human shield and now looks very exposed”.

Party colleagues, however, were quick to praise Rudd. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said she “cares deeply about the people she serves” and had handled last year’s terrorist attacks very well.

In a written response to Rudd’s resignation, May said she believed the minister had given her testimony “in good faith” and said the country was trying to enforce a “firm but fair” immigration policy.

The front pages of the UK’s newspapers, meanwhile, have left their coverage largely pun free – with the exception of the Daily Mirror.

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