Windrush: will Amber Rudd resign?
Jeremy Corbyn repeats call for Home Secretary to go
Amber Rudd has faced fresh calls to stand down over the Windrush deportation scandal, despite apologising to MPs and vowing a “culture change” at the Home Office.
Sensing an opportunity to make political hay less than a week before crucial local elections, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, repeated his call for Rudd to resign over her handling of the crisis. He claimed she had inherited a “failing policy” and made it worse.
With the Government under intense pressure and new cases still emerging, Corbyn cited a private memo from Rudd to May in which the Home Secretary pledged to give officials more “teeth” to hunt down and deport thousands more illegal migrants.
The Labour leader’s attack builds on “mounting pressure” applied to the Home Secretary by opposition MPs, says The Independent. On Sunday, the SNP described Rudd’s position as “untenable”, while Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry told the BBC’s Andrew Marr the Windrush debacle was evidence there was “something rotten at the heart of government”.
On Monday, the Home Secretary sought to draw a line under the scandal by promising to grant citizenship and compensation to the families of Caribbean immigrants who came to the UK between 1948 and 1971.
Appearing before MPs yesterday afternoon she went further, saying she deeply regretted not spotting the problem of Windrush-generation Britons being wrongly targeted by immigration authorities and vowed there would be “a culture change” at the Home Office.
“The problem”, says Stephen Bush in the New Statesman, “is that she can’t blame her predecessor [Theresa May] and for one reason or another she won’t be calling for either of the things that could resolve the scandal: an ID card scheme, which is unacceptable to many Conservatives and simply wouldn’t pass Parliament, or the unpicking of the hostile environment policy which represents the major legislative accomplishment of Theresa May’s time at the Home Office and the only legislative accomplishment of May’s time at Downing Street.”
The question now is whether the scandal has enough legs to stay a thorn the Government’s side, or if further cases emerge which show the problem is not just confined to one group of immigrants but large swathes of the population.