UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigns amid migrant removal targets scandal
Rudd has been under increased pressure to resign for more than a week since she was accused of misleading Parliament over whether her department had targets for the removal of immigrants.
In a letter to May, Rudd said she was standing down on Sunday night, once again claiming that she mistakenly misled parliament and had no knowledge of the target system.
"I feel it is necessary to do so because I inadvertently misled the Home Affairs Select Committee over targets for removal of illegal immigrants," Rudd said in a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May as cited by Reuters. "I should have been aware of this, and I take full responsibility for the fact that I was not."
Rudd’s departure comes on the same day that the Guardian published a private letter to Theresa May from Rudd in January last year, in which she outlined her “ambitious but deliverable” target to deport 10 percent more illegal immigrants over the “next few years.”
Rudd denied having any knowledge of the use of deportation targets as recently as Friday night, when she took to Twitter to state that she would not be resigning, so as to“ensure immigration policy is fair and humane.”
Rudd insisted she was not aware of the use of “specific removal targets” in the Home Office, but conceded in her apologetic statement that she should have known. She was due to make a statement about the scandal in Parliament on Monday.
2/4 I wasn't aware of specific removal targets. I accept I should have been and I'm sorry that I wasn't.— Amber Rudd MP (@AmberRuddHR) April 27, 2018
Last week, a leaked internal document revealed that the Home Office did have targets for the removal of illegal migrants. The document discussing such targets had been copied to Rudd’s office, however, in her Twitter statement Rudd claimed she didn’t see the notice, but she admitted that it was copied to her office “as many documents are.”
3/4 I didn't see the leaked document, although it was copied to my office as many documents are.— Amber Rudd MP (@AmberRuddHR) April 27, 2018
Rudd reportedly phoned May on Sunday evening to reveal her intention to step down, with a spokesman for No. 10 later announcing that the PM accepted her resignation.