British home secretary resigns amid immigration scandal

First Female Suffragist Millicent Fawcett Statue Unveiled In Parliament Square
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 24: Home Secretary Amber Rudd attends the official unveiling of a statue in honour of the first female Suffragist Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square on April 24, 2018 in London, England. The statue of women's suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett is the first monument of a woman and the first designed by a woman, Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing OBE, to take a place in parliament Square. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

London: UK Home Secretary Amber Russ has resigned, saying she “inadvertently misled” MPs over targets for removing illegal immigrants, the media reported on Monday.

The resignation came late Sunday (April 29) after the Guardian revealed that in a leaked 2017 letter to Theresa May, Rudd had told the Prime Minister of her intention to increase deportations by 10 per cent, seemingly at odds with her recent denials that she was aware of deportation targets.

Rudd was due to appear in the House of Commons on Monday to explain the revelation.

Downing Street sources said that in preparing for her statement, new information had become available which convinced Rudd she had inadvertently misled parliament and she had therefore phoned May on Sunday to tender her resignation.

In her resignation letter, published hours after the latest leak, Rudd said she had “become aware of information provided to my office which makes mention of targets. I should have been aware of this, and I take full responsibility that I was not”.

May replied that she believed Rudd had given her evidence “in good faith”; but that she could “understand why, now you have had chance to review the advice that you have received on this issue, you have made the decision you have made, and taken responsibility for inadvertently misleading the home affairs select committee”.

May added that Rudd had led her department with “great integrity, compassion and selflessness – notwithstanding the personal and political challenges you have faced during this period”.

May is expected to announce Rudd’s replacement on Monday, the Guardian reported.

The Home Secretary had faced mounting pressure over her role in setting the culture and policies that led to long-term residents of Britain from Caribbean countries being denied healthcare, pensions and benefits and in some cases the threat of deportation.

Speculation about her future had swirled on April 27, as the home office and Downing Street failed to respond after the Guardian revealed that she was aware of targets for removing illegal migrants from Britain.

Rudd finally issued a statement on later that day: “I wasn’t aware of specific removal targets. I accept I should have been and I’m sorry that I wasn’t.”

For the past two weeks, British lawmakers have been attempting to justify why certain descendants of the “Windrush generation” of Caribbean immigrants invited to Britain to overcome labour deficits from 1948-1971 had been labelled illegal immigrants.

On April 26, May had apologized to the UK’s black community in a letter she sent to the national Afro-Caribbean daily, The Voice, saying: “We have let you down and I am deeply sorry. But apologies alone are not good enough. We must urgently right this historic wrong.”