Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

New home secretary Sajid Javid steps up: I'll sort Windrush

Michael Gove has been making regular appearances on radio and television defending the Prime Minister Michael Gove has been making regular appearances on radio and television defending the Prime Minister
| 04 May, 2018, 14:22

Both he and Mrs Bradley worked with Theresa May while she was Home Secretary.

Rudd's departure is seen as a blow to May, who, as home secretary in the David Cameron government during 2010-15, had put in place a set of policies to create a "hostile environment" for illegal immigrants.

A rapid riser in the government, Mr Javid's first task was to deal with the fallout from the Windrush scandal - moves to deport legal but undocumented elderly Caribbean immigrants.

He was instructing the press office to brief people like me that "there are no removal targets for immigration enforcement officers, regional or national".

After Trump in November retweeted misleading anti-Muslim videos by an extremist fringe group called Britain First, Javid tweeted: "So POTUS has endorsed the views of a vile, hate-filled racist organisation that hates me and people like me".

From Sir Michael Fallon's resignation on November 1 previous year to Ms Rudd's inevitable decision to quit on Sunday night, four Cabinet ministers have
now been forced to resign in the past six months (the others were Priti Patel and Damian Green).

Now here is the mystery.

Rudd's dramatic exit comes as a severe setback for May, who publicly declared her "full confidence" in Rudd as recently as Friday and faces potentially bruising local authority elections across metropolitan England on Thursday.

Javid is the son of a Pakistani immigrant bus driver and one of the most outspoken members of May's cabinet to confront President Donald Trump over his tweets about Muslims.


The SNP's home affairs spokeswoman Joanna Cherry said blame for the Windrush scandal "lies firmly at the door of Theresa May and her toxic Tory immigration policies".

But unlike Ms Rudd, Mr Javid is no Europhile.

"Just as importantly, people who have come here legally and enriched the life of our country should not expect the state unreasonably to challenge their presence here; rather, it should help them prove their right to continue living here and contributing to the life of our nation".

Rudd then chose to resign rather than face the Commons on Monday, with her letter to May saying she had "become aware of information provided to my office which makes mention of targets".

Named after the British ship Empire Windrush, which arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex with 492 Caribbean passengers in 1948, the Windrush immigrants never formalised their status, often because they were children who came over on their parents' passports and then never applied for their own.

Immigration is a divisive issue in Britain, and reducing the number of newcomers was a major factor for many voters who in 2016 backed leaving the European Union.

Rudd said in her resignation letter she had "inadvertently misled" the select committee on targets.

"The main opposition Labour Party accused Rudd of being a "human shield" for May, who was home secretary under Cameron".

Labour's finance spokesman John McDonnell said: "You can smell the undoubted odour of a government decomposing".

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