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Windrush Scandal: British Interior Minister Faces Resignation Calls

Windrush Scandal: British Interior Minister Faces Resignation Calls

Windrush Scandal: British Interior Minister Faces Resignation Calls

The UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd is facing backlash and is being called on to resign from her position after it was revealed that officials were given targets to remove illegal immigrants.

For almost two weeks, British ministers have been struggling to explain why some descendants of the "Windrush generation", who were invited to Britain to plug labour shortfalls between 1948 and 1971, had been labelled illegal immigrants. There, Rudd conceded that there had been local targets for "internal performance management", but maintained that these were "not published targets against which performance was assessed".

On Thursday afternoon the Home Office scrapped those: "I would never support a policy that puts targets ahead of people", said Ms Rudd.

There was also a target to remove families in the country illegally, though the inspection report said it was not a "useful performance measure". "I am clear they will have to change". Rudd said she would ban targets if they were being used "inappropriately".

Rudd did not answer these questions, but defended the home office's policy, saying: "Once again the honourable lady is confusing the difference between legal and illegal migrants and I do not think she like any other member of this house would want the United Kingdom to be a home for illegal migrants".

Pressed on the point, she added: "I didn't hear the testimony, I'm not sure what shape that might be in, but if you ask me 'are there numbers of people we expect to be removed?', that's not how we operate".

The Home Office said it has never been policy to take decisions arbitrarily to meet a target.

Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd leaves 10 Downing Street in London, April 10, 2018.

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The Immigration Service Union told MPs staff were under pressure to meet the targets and remove people in the United Kingdom illegally. Cabinet ministers Michael Gove and Sajid Javid sat beside her on the front bench for her statement.

Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly apologised for their treatment - but she insists tougher action against illegal immigrants has public backing and was a policy pursued by Labour when it was in power. Labour MP David Lammy said: "I asked the minister at the last urgent question how many people had been deported".

Ms Cooper said she had asked the Home Office whether it has targets for immigration removals after "contradictory evidence" from the Home Secretary and the Immigration Services Union.

Ms Rudd has been accused of misleading Parliament after telling a committee of MPs on Wednesday: "We don't have targets for removals".

Some of the Windrush migrants have been made homeless, lost their jobs, threatened with deportation and denied benefits, according to the Guardian newspaper. It is not clear whether the target is still in force.

Rudd was forced to return to the House of Commons on Thursday morning to face questions from MPs, who argued she had misled the committee.

The PM's official spokesman said the idea of governments setting removal targets was something that had happened for "a number of decades".

The targets, and how they were divided up, were first reported by the BBC.

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