Amber Rudd should consider resigning as outrage grows over threats of deportation to the Windrush generation of immigrants, Diane Abbott has said.
The shadow home secretary said on Wednesday morning that Rudd should take “responsibility” rather than seek to blame Home Office officials.
“This is has caused so much misery and has ruined so many people’s lives and there so much unity in the House of Commons on both sides of the chamber about this subject, she needs to consider her position,” Abbott told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme.
It emerged this week that thousands who answered the post-World War II call to come to the UK to work in essential services are being denied access to state healthcare, losing their jobs and even being threatened with deportation.
Yesterday it emerged thousands of landing card slips recording the arrival of migrants to the UK were destroyed by the Home Office eight years ago - when Theresa May was in charge of the department.
The prime minister apologised to Caribbean leaders at a summit in Downing Street on Tuesday morning.
David Lammy, the Labour MP who has been campaigning on behalf of the Windrush migrants, has also said “heads must roll” in government as a result of the scandal.
Speaking to HuffPost UK Tuesday, many people in Brixton – many the children and grandchildren of Windrush Britons – said the government must compensate the people who have been incorrectly targeted for possible deportation by the Home Office.
Writing for HuffPost UK, Abbott said it was “unacceptable” for Rudd or May to blame Home Office officials.
“The author of this pernicious policy is Theresa May. She was also Home Secretary when protections for the Windrush generation were removed,” she said.
“She should apologise, change the law immediately, and reverse this policy.
“Her successor Amber Rudd has maintained the ridiculous and unworkable policy of reducing net migration below 100,000 a year.
“She claims not to know if anyone has been deported in error to the Caribbean, despite her junior minister admitting they have.”
Abbott added: “The Windrush scandal was made at the Home Office. Not by officials, but by these two leading Tory politicians.”