Amber Rudd faces renewed calls to quit over Windrush after admitting Home Office 'deportation targets'

Nick Reilly
Home Secretary Amber Rudd faces calls to resign (Reuters)

Amber Rudd is facing renewed calls to stand down as Home Secretary after admitting officials were handed targets for the removal of illegal immigrants.

Yesterday, the Home Secretary told MPs she was not aware of any targets being given to immigration officials.

Ms Rudd faced a further grilling in Parliament today over the treatment of immigrants from the Windrush generation.

Responding to an urgent question from Labour’s Diane Abbott, she admitted her department used ‘local targets’ for ‘internal performance management’, although she maintained that she was not aware of them at the time.

Appearing in the Commons Ms Rudd faced repeated calls for her resignation from opposition figures including Labour’s Diane Abbott and David Lammy, and the SNP’s Alison Thewliss.

Labour’s Diane Abbott hit out at Amber Rudd’s handling of the Windrush issue.

Abbott said that Rudd should resign as a matter of ‘honour’.

The Home Secretary remained firm, claiming she is the best figure to deal with the extensive mistakes emerging from the Windrush scandal.


She said: ‘I have never agreed that there should be specific removal targets and I would never support a policy that puts targets ahead of people.

‘The immigration arm of the Home Office has been using local targets for internal performance management.

‘These were not published targets against which performance was assessed, but if they were used inappropriately then I am clear that this will have to change.

‘I have asked officials to provide me with a full picture of performance measurement tools which are used at all levels, and will update the House and the Home Affairs select committee as soon as possible.’

She also faced fierce condemnation from Labour’s Yvette Cooper, who accused the Home Office of a ‘complete fudge’ over its response to perceived immigration targets.

Following Ms Rudd’s appearance before MPs on Wednesday, the Home Office said it had “never been (its) policy to take decisions arbitrarily to meet a target”.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on Ms Rudd to resign over the Windrush scandal, claiming she had inherited a “failing policy” and made it worse.

An outcry over treatment of migrants from the Caribbean who arrived after the Second World War has put immigration policy and its administration in the spotlight.