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29th Apr 2018

Amber Rudd resigns as home secretary over Windrush generation scandal

James Dawson

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 12: Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd leaves after an emergency cabinet meeting at Downing Street on April 12, 2018 in London, England. British Prime Minister Theresa May has called an emergency cabinet meeting amid speculation she will back US action against Syria. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Theresa May accepted Amber Rudd’s resignation this evening.

Amber Rudd has resigned as home secretary following her repeated failure to explain her role in the Windrush scandal that has seen immigrants living in Britain for decades and their children threatened with deportation.

Theresa May accepted the cabinet minister’s resignation this evening. It comes following two weeks of shocking revelations about the unjust treatment of British citizens living in the country who do not have documentation to prove their naturalisation.

The Tory minister had come under growing pressure due to her role in the scandal. She claimed to a select committee on Wednesday that regional targets for “voluntary removal” of illegal immigrants were not in place, something that was subsequently proven to be untrue.

And this afternoon it emerged that, despite her claims that she knew nothing about deportation targets, Rudd sent a four-page letter to Theresa May in January last year, in which she boasted she had set an “ambitious but deliverable” target for kicking out illegal immigrants.

Rudd telephoned Theresa May this evening to inform her of the decision following intensifying demands from Labour MPs for her to quit. A Number 10 spokesperson confirmed the news, saying: “The Prime Minister has tonight accepted the resignation of the Home Secretary.”

The immigrants are referred to as the ‘Windrush generation’ in reference to the HMT Empire Windrush ship that first brought workers from the West Indies to Britain in 1948.

Although immigrants were invited to come to Britain from the Commonwealth due to labour shortages, because many of the generation came to the UK on their parent’s passports, a lack of official paperwork has meant they are now being informed that they are here illegally.

The 1971 Immigration Act meant that all Commonwealth citizens already living in the UK were granted indefinite leave to remain.

However, the Home Office did not keep a record or issue any paperwork following the legislation, so there are no official figures to say the number of people at risk of deportation. Estimates suggest around half a million Windrush immigrants are still living in the UK today.