Published: Tue, May 01, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Sajid Javid named Home Secretary to replace Amber Rudd in Cabinet reshuffle

Sajid Javid named Home Secretary to replace Amber Rudd in Cabinet reshuffle

Rudd's resignation had become inevitable when leaks showed the extent of her knowledge about targets for removing illegal migrants.

Javid's primary job at the interior ministry, or Home Office, will not be an easy one either.

Her clampdown on illegal immigration, that began as a bid to identify those without papers, scooped up many elderly people from the Windrush generation - named after the ship that brought the first group of migrants from the West Indies in 1948.

Rudd's resignation may weaken Prime Minister Theresa May's government.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott was granted an urgent question to ask the prime minister for a statement of the government's handling of the "Windrush crisis".

"She was presiding over, in her terms, the creation of a hostile environment", he said.

A close ally to May, Rudd admitted she had "inadvertently misled" a parliamentary committee last Wednesday by denying the government had targets for the deportation of illegal migrants. Clampdown Immigration control remains a hot topic in Britain and was a factor in the June 2016 vote to leave the EU.

She stood down last night, in the wake of the Windrush scandal.

The new Home Secretary was summoned straight to Parliament where he told MPs that there would be no more talk of a "hostile environment" to illegal immigrants under his watch.

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Rudd's dramatic exit comes as a severe setback for May, who publicly declared her "full confidence" in Rudd as recently as Friday and faces potentially bruising local authority elections across metropolitan England on Thursday.

But Theresa May at least avoided significant aftershocks in the very limited reorganisation of her Cabinet, which is not as easy as it looks for a diminished Prime Minister who botched a wider reshuffle in January when certain Ministers refused to move from jobs.

Prime Minister Theresa May s spokesman said Javid, who formerly ran housing policy and before that was business minister, had "proved his drive, his ambition and his determination to get to grips with hard subjects".

Rudd enthusiastically pursued the policy when she took over, but its brutal impact on people who had grown up in the United Kingdom was exposed over the course of the past year by the Guardian newspaper.

Mr Javid, who backed staying in the European Union, may change the balance adopted by Ms May's team in negotiating Britain's departure from the EU. The government has an oft-stated but long-unmet goal of reducing net immigration below 100,000 people a year, less than half the current level.

May is facing opposition calls to take responsibility for the tough immigration policies that started when she was home secretary in 2012. Opponents say the government should drop that target.

The Windrush scandal is also causing anxiety for the 3 million European Union citizens living in Britain who are concerned about their immigration status after the country leaves the EU next March.

Following Javid's promotion, the Downing Street also announced that former Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire will return to the cabinet as Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary.

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