Theresa May under immense pressure to sack Amber Rudd after new revelations

Last night Amber Rudd defied belief and appeared to still hold onto her role as Home Secretary as revelations emerged that she again appeared to have misled MPs, breaching Ministerial Code twice in one week.

Political commentators and opposition MPs expressed dismay as despite expectations that she would resign by the end of the day, Theresa May appeared unable to sack her Home Secretary. – Presumably as the suffering caused by the Windrush scandal was largely down to the “hostile environment,” immigration targets and cuts to the Home Office initiated when Theresa May was Home Secretary.

Commentators such as the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg speculated about the weakness of Theresa May’s position if she is still unable to sack her Home Secretary despite two apparent breaches of the Ministerial Code in one week.

“Reasons for Rudd to go – she has not appeared in control of facts this week when Home Office was meant to be getting on top of a mess; she freelanced on sensitive govt Brexit policy and someone inside Home Office is obvs leaking, so how to be sure there isn’t more to come?” tweeted the BBC Political Editor, adding: “Reasons for her to stay – root of bigger policy mess, Windrush, predates her so in some sense she provides political protection for May; departure would upset delicate Brexit balance in Cabinet + she’d be powerful Remain voice on backbenches, a danger to May in itself.”

1.3.c of the Ministerial code states: “Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the Prime Minister.”

On Friday last week, it was revealed that Amber Rudd had sent a memo to Theresa May boasting that she would increase enforced removals by 10% over the next few years which she said was “ambitious but deliverable,” despite cuts in Home Office staff and an increasing backlog of many waiting for years with no immigration status. Rudd promised the PM she would achieve the target by diverting money for crime-fighting to her immigration enforcement programme.

Yet when addressing the Home Affairs Select Committee on Wednesday, Amber Rudd had insisted: “We don’t have targets for removals.”

But Lucy Moreton, general secretary of the Immigration Service Union told MPs that there was a national target, broken down regionally to remove people in the UK illegally, and staff were under “increasing pressure” to meet it.

Rudd was then asked to explain the Windrush mess in the House of Commons. To MPs’ dismay, the Home Secretary insisted that she wasn’t aware of Home Office staff operating to removal targets as she apologised for the distress caused to people who had lived in Britain for generations now wrongly threatened with deportation by her department.

Then yesterday The Guardian newspaper leaked a letter addressed to her outlining the Home Office’s specific target of 12,800 removals in 2017/18.

The Home Office memo was sent to Rudd, the then-immigration minister Brandon Lewis, as well as her special advisors detailing the targets set by her department for the number of people to be removed.

This again suggests that Rudd misled MPs more than once, testifying to the Home Affairs Select Committee that her department had no targets for removals, then insisting to parliament that she was unaware of these targets.

A point raised by David Lammy:

“If I was Home Secretary I’d have resigned over the Windrush scandal itself, resigned a second time for misleading Parliament about the existence of deportation targets, and then resigned a third time for misleading Parliament about not knowing. A disgrace,” said Labour MP David Lammy.

The SNP’s Stewart McDonald quoted the Ministerial Code, insisting “Amber Rudd must resign.”

Meanwhile further evidence emerged that Theresa May as Home Secretary had been warned as early as two years ago about the Windrush scandal. All of which makes sacking her Home Secretary Amber Rudd, however out of control the growing scandal makes her look impossible for the Prime Minister.

Many pointed out that if Theresa May does not sack Amber Rudd now, more revelations about what she knew, what she should have known as Home Secretary, what she has misled MPs could yet emerge.

Not to mention more examples of the suffering caused to the WIndrush generation from the Commonwealth and their families who had contributed to Britain, paid taxes, had grandkids here and were know facing deportation, loss of health treatments etc due to a mixture of Home Office cock ups and what Labour equalities spokesperson Dawn Butler called a regime of “institutional racism.”

Diane Abbott yesterday insisted that Amber Rudd’s career was “hanging by a thread to shield the Prime Minister from her responsibilities as the initial architect of this cruel and callous approach to migration, which resulted in the Windrush scandal.”

The shadow home Secretary said that if her Conservative counterpart had failed to read crucial documents “which meant she wasn’t aware of the removal targets which have led to people’s lives being ruined.

“Another apology is not enough, she should take responsibility for chaos in the Home Office and resign.”

Instead, Amber Rudd yesterday tweeted an announcement that she would be making another statement in the House of Commons on Monday. We can’t wait. There are some bemused comments on Rudd’s tweets too:

@BenGelblum

REVEALED:

Revealed: Despite Theresa May’s apologies, Home Office charter secret removal flight to Jamaica with these grandmothers:

Windrush grandmother, who has paid taxes for almost 40 years, was sacked from her charity job last month – because she couldn’t prove her right to remain

Theresa May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ immigration policy compared to ‘Nazi Germany’ by her own ministers

The Brexit assessments the Government didn’t want released have been published – now everyone can see what they were hiding

Theresa May and Amber Rudd suppress Westminster child abuse documents for national security reasons

Will Theresa May’s child abuse inquiry explain how so many abuse survivors’ records have disappeared?

 

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