K E Y P O I N T S
Amber Rudd is under pressure to resign as Home Secretary in the wake of the Windrush scandal.
The crisis has seen migrants who came to the UK after World War II and have a legal right to live here wrongly threatened with deportation by the Home Office.
Responding to the outcry, Rudd initially told MPs she did not know if anyone had been deported or not.
Dragged to Commons to explain herself, Rudd admitted she had not known about the targets imposed by her own department.
Rudd, who campaigned for ‘Remain’ at the referendum, then got into more trouble after suggesting to a room of journalists in Westminster the UK may not leave the Customs Union after Brexit.ADVERTISEMENT
She then had to tweet a clarification of her comments and said she ‘should have been clearer’ that the UK would leave the Customs Union - as is government policy.
S N A P V E R D I C T
From HuffPost UK Deputy Political Editor Owen Bennett:
It’s strange what leads to Cabinet resignations these days. Lying about looking at porn? You’re out, Damian. Holding meetings with Israeli officials without permission? You’re leaving on a jet plane, Priti. Undermining attempts to get a British woman freed from an Iranian prison? As you were, Boris. Heading up a department which may have actually deported British citizens who have every right to be here? Don’t worry, Amber, it’s fine.
Yet just when it seemed that Amber Rudd had avoided the rather whack-a-mole approach to Cabinet discipline, she poked her head out again this afternoon to invite another bash from May’s mallet. Her suggestion that staying in a customs union with the EU after Brexit is still up for discussion – a claim swiftly denied by Downing Street – might be the matter which sees her shipped out of Cabinet.
For May, Rudd’s latest gaffe might well be a godsend. Sacking the Home Secretary over the Windrush debacle would actually lead to more questions over why the Prime Minister is still in post. The wrong head has rolled, many will cry. Amputating her from Cabinet for not toeing the line on Brexit will be one way of stopping the Rudd infection of incompetence spreading to the rest of the Cabinet.
But Rudd going over her Brexit comments might be the worst move of all. Oversee a regime which is ruining people’s lives: you can stay. Make a comment which annoys Jacob Rees-Mogg and Peter Bone: you’re out of here.
R U D D’ S C R I T I C S
W H A T N E X T
Amber Rudd had been seen as a safe pair of hands, however her handling of the Windrush scandal has damaged her brand and likely damaged her chances of taking over from Theresa May as Tory leader. The outrage over the threats of deportations is unlikely to calm down soon, as Labour seek to exploit the row in the run up to next week’s local elections. The Opposition has scheduled a parliamentary debate on Wednesday designed to pile the pressure on Rudd and May over their immigration policy.