Theresa May seeks to distance herself from Windrush row after Rudd departure

04 May, 2018, 14:19 | Author: Kathy Ellis
  • May appoints British Pakistani as new home secretary

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.

Those tipped to replace her include Communities Secretary Sajid Javid; reformist Environment Secretary Michael Gove, a pro-Brexit figurehead; and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who reportedly refused to budge during the last reshuffle.

Prime Minister Theresa May, a former interior minister who once led efforts to tackle illegal immigration, appointed a new Home Secretary this week to try to draw a line under the scandal that has threatened her authority as she negotiates Brexit.

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

Under a toughening immigration regime brought in in recent years, and bureaucratic mess-ups that resulted in documentation being lost by the government, many of these men and women have begun to be penalised for failing to have the right documentation and were being treated as illegal immigrants.

She did not answer when questioned outside her home if she had fallen on Prime Minister Theresa May's sword.

Those from India, Pakistan, West Africa and other parts of the Commonwealth were also facing the plight staring at many men and women from the Caribbean, who had come to the United Kingdom between 1948 and 1973, and who were wrongly being treated as undocumented migrants, she said during a debate called by the Labour party.

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After Trump in November retweeted misleading anti-Muslim videos by an extremist fringe group called Britain First, Javid tweeted: "So POTUS has endorsed the views of a vile, hate-filled racist organisation that hates me and people like me". "It's a phrase that's unhelpful and doesn't represent our values as a country".

Immigration control remains a hot topic in Britain and was a factor in the 2016 vote to leave the EU.

Still, the treatment of the Windrush generation has sparked dismay across the political spectrum in Britain.

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. The resignation of Rudd followed weeks of pressure ever since her statement to the Parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee denying knowledge of any targets to remove illegal migrants from the UK.

Quizzed about her role in Windrush controversy and Ms Rudd's resignation during a visit to Cumbria, the Prime Minister insisted the public want the government to deal with people who have no right to be in the country.

Rudd said she took "full responsibility" for the fact that she was not aware of "information provided to (her) office which makes mention of targets". May said she accepted that Rudd had spoken "in good faith" and was sorry to see her resign.



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