International desk, Apr 30: The home secretary of the United Kingdom (UK) Amber Rudd has resigned, saying she “inadvertently misled” MPs over targets for removing illegal immigrants.
She faced criticism over the existence of Home Office removals targets and her knowledge of them.
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, who had repeatedly urged Ms Rudd to go, said she had “done the right thing”.
Ms Abbott added that the “architect of this crisis” – Theresa May – must come before the Commons to explain “whether she knew that Amber Rudd was misleading Parliament and the public last week”.
On Sunday, the Guardian published the full letter it had reported on a week earlier, in which Ms Rudd set out her “ambitious but deliverable” aim to deport 10% more illegal immigrants over the “next few years” to Theresa May.
Ms Rudd telephoned the prime minister on Sunday evening to tell her of the decision amid intensifying opposition demands for her to quit.
In her resignation letter, Ms Rudd said she takes “full responsibility” for the fact she was not aware of “information provided to (her) office which makes mention of targets”.
Mrs May said she was “very sorry” to see Ms Rudd leave the Home Office and she should “take great pride” in what she has achieved.
Ms Rudd’s successor is expected to be announced early on Monday morning.
The Windrush row began when it emerged that some migrants from Commonwealth countries, who settled in the UK from the late 1940s to the 1970s, and their relatives, had been declared illegal immigrants.
Reacting to the resignation, Labour MP David Lammy said: “Amber Rudd resigned because she didn’t know what was going on in her own department and she had clearly lost the confidence of her own civil servants.
“The real issue is the hostile environment policy that caused this crisis in the first place.
“That policy must now be reviewed, and the Home Office must move quickly to compensate and grant citizenship to the Windush generation.”
Conservative MPs have been paying tribute to their colleague. Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom called her “honest and principled” while Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said she was a “huge talent” who would “no doubt be back in Cabinet soon”.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said she had done “a great job during last year’s terrorist attacks and cares deeply about the people she serves”.