Theresa May seeks to distance herself from Windrush row after Rudd departure

Amber Rudd

British Prime Minister Theresa May has moved swiftly to shore up her government in the wake of the sudden resignation of a senior minister over an immigration scandal late on Sunday night.

Conservative MP for Hertsmere Mr Dowden said: "It is sad that Amber Rudd has made a decision to resign after she felt she had inadvertently misled the House last week".

But, in a sign of the turmoil the issue has caused in Tory ranks, new Home Secretary Sajid Javid distanced himself from the idea of making the United Kingdom a "hostile environment" for illegal migrants.

Rudd had been under pressure for weeks after relevations about her department's treatment of the so-called Windrush generation of Caribbean migrants who came to Britain between the mid-1940s and the 1970s as the country rebuilt itself after the second World War.

Now, we have seen the Windrush generation being caught up in way that has caused anxiety among that generation.

Rudd has paid a substantial career price for getting it wrong.

But May, who has seen Rudd as a closest ally, is still in stormy waters when the opposition is pointing a finger in the direction of May.

Javid's appointment was applauded by his Conservative colleagues, with chief secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss praising him as "effective, no-nonsense and brave", while former minister Nick Boles said he was "proud to be a colleague" of the UK's first home secretary from a Muslim background.

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The Prime Minister pledged to keep up the fight against illegal immigration, despite Labour claims that the approach contributed to the Windrush scandal.

"The home secretary was forced to step down after a series of revelations in the Guardian over Windrush culminated in a leak on Friday that appeared to show she was aware of targets for removing illegal migrants from Britain", reported The Guardian newspaper.

And he told the House of Commons he is "not going to use" the phrase "hostile" during his time at the Home Office.

She then apologised on Friday for saying she had not been aware of specific targets for the removal of illegal immigrants.

Labour has accused Theresa May of covering up her role in the "cruel farce" that led to the mistreatment of members of the Windrush generation.

"It is about a burning injustice that stretches from 10 Downing Street into the lives of thousands of British citizens", Lammy said.

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".

The difficulties faced by "longstanding pillars of the community" should never have happened, he said, adding: "I thought that it could be my mum, my brother, my uncle or even me".

He also said that tackling the Windrush scandal would be top of his priorities.

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