Amber Rudd resigned last night as home secretary after admitting she had “inadvertently misled” MPs about the existence of deportation targets.
Rudd was facing mounting pressure over the Windrush scandal, after details were published of a secret six-page internal document prepared for her and other senior ministers in June 2017.
Quoting from the memo, The Guardian says the department has “set ‘a target of achieving 12,800 enforced returns in 2017-18’ and boasts that ‘we have exceeded our target of assisted returns’.”
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The memo also states that progress had been made on a “path towards the 10% increased performance on enforced returns, which we promised the home secretary earlier this year”.
Rudd had previously denied knowledge of any removal targets, before admitting “local” targets for voluntary removals had been set without her knowledge.
But in a letter to the Prime Minister dated 30 January 2017, she outlined her department’s “aim of increasing the number of enforced removals by more than 10% over the next few years”.
The Daily Telegraph says Rudd was “preparing to tough it out after a week of calls for her to resign”, but made the decision to step down ahead of an appearance before the House of Commons scheduled for today.
It had become an “inevitable resignation”, says BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg. “In a different time, and with a minister with enemies, she’d likely have been out on Friday.”
The Windrush scandal began when it emerged that a number of migrants from Commonwealth countries in the 1940s to 1970s had been treated as illegal immigrants despite their UK citizenship.
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