Sajid Javid replaces Amber Rudd as British home secretary

Randal Sanchez
May 4, 2018

"She has been an excellent Home Secretary and should take pride in her achievements in office".

A rapid riser in the government, Javid's first task was to answer an urgent question in parliament amid continued fallout from the so-called Windrush scandal - erroneous moves to deport legal but undocumented elderly immigrants from the Caribbean.

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

Javid said Sunday that the Windrush scandal felt "very personal" but urged people to concentrate on the government's efforts to rectify the situation.

Ms Rudd was forced from office after saying there were no targets for the removal of people deemed to be in the country illegally.

Now here is the mystery.

"These deportations are going to keep happening, because the way the law is framed at the moment is by defining the Windrush generation exclusively by the Immigration Act of 1971, which is an explicitly racist piece of legislation meant to stop coloured people coming into the United Kingdom..."

"I should have been aware of this, and I take full responsibility for the fact that I was not".

Closing the debate for Labour, the shadow home office minister Afzal Khan served notice the party would keep up the pressure on the government, asking dozens of detailed questions on how those caught up in the crisis would receive help, and what reparations they could expect.

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Immigration control remains a hot topic in Britain and was a factor in the 2016 vote to leave the EU.

Mr Lewis said that while he had worked with her "on a weekly basis" about their efforts to increase the numbers of illegal immigrants being removed, they had never discussed "particular numbers" in the way that was suggested at the Home Affairs Committee.

For, as is so often the case, Ministers are, yet again, following public opinion and a desire in the country at large to stand by those Caribbean immigrants who made
their home here after the war and who contributed
so much to the diversity
and prosperity of today's Britain before being treated so appallingly.

The government has apologised to Windrush migrants and their families, promised citizenship and compensation to those affected, including to people who have lost their jobs and been threatened with deportation because of the errors.

She telephoned May to tell her of her decision, but in a letter that officially marked it she wrote: "It is with great regret that I am resigning as home secretary".

Explaining the thinking behind Javid's appointment, May's spokesman said he was "one of the most experienced ministers" in Cabinet who had "proved his drive, his ambition and his determination to get to grips with hard subjects".

"Amber Rudd has been a human shield for Theresa May - and now she has gone".

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

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