Sunday, 20 May, 2018

British interior minister faces calls to resign after…

James O'Brien in the LBC studio James O'Brien in the LBC studio
Lindsey Cook | 27 April, 2018, 00:34

British interior minister Amber Rudd said she had no plans to resign after giving contradictory statements about meeting targets for deportations, deepening a scandal over Britain's treatment of Caribbean immigrants.

The Immigration Service Union told MPs staff were under pressure to meet the targets and remove people in the United Kingdom illegally.

So that cleared everything up, right?

The minister yesterday told MPs there were no removal targets for immigrants set by the Home Office, adding: "I don't know what you are talking about", when challenged on the point by Home Affairs Committee chair Yvette Cooper.

A report by the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration published in December 2015, spotted by the Guardian, revealed that the Home Office also had a target for voluntary departures.

MPs such as Labour's David Lammy, who has championed the cause in Parliament, fear this target would include the Windrush generation, citizens that are in the United Kingdom lawfully.

Later, speaking to journalists at a Westminster lunch event, Ms Rudd said: "I have not approved or seen or cleared any targets for removals looking ahead, and looking ahead I will not be doing that". In fact the department had, she now confirmed, operated local targets for "internal use".

Voluntary departures are when people who are in the country illegally or those denied leave to remain notify the Home Office with their intention to leave the UK.

"Isn't it time that the Home Secretary considered her honor and resign?" asked the Labour Party's home affairs spokeswoman, Diane Abbott.

British journalists have been lining up on social media to question Rudd's position, while others appeared to mock her.

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The Home Office said it has never been policy to take decisions arbitrarily to meet a target.

So why hasn't Rudd stepped down or been sacked?

They embarrassingly emerged in a 2015 report this morning, and the disclosure has put more pressure on Rudd to resign over the Windrush scandal and, more broadly, government immigration policy and "hostile environment" created by her predecessor Theresa May.

The New Statesman's Stephen Bush highlights the key relationship between Rudd and May, the latter of whom was home secretary before becoming PM.

"The Home Secretary is working hard in order to address the concerns that have been raised in relation to Windrush and to ensure they are addressed and put right", the spokesman added.

Asked if May had full confidence in Home Secretary Rudd after Windrush, the prime minister's spokesman told reporters: "Yes".

But Rudd's response has been met with calls for her resignation.

The Home Office is yet to reply to a request for comment. "I don't know what more I can do".

Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable has raised concerns about the Home Office's ability to process applications from millions of European Union nationals who want to stay in the United Kingdom after Brexit if it can not deal properly with the Windrush generation.

While addressing the Police Federation conference in 2017, where she maintained that the 1 percent public sector pay cap was justified, she responded to a claim that police officers were having to resort to foodbanks because of low pay by saying: "the average police officer's earnings is about £40,000 a year so I am surprised to hear that", reported Politics Home.

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