UK home secretary resigns following immigration scandal

Posted at 4:54 PM, Apr 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-29 18:54:08-04

By Ralph Ellis, CNN

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has accepted the resignation of Amber Rudd as home secretary, a Downing Street spokesperson said Sunday.

No reason for the resignation was provided, but Rudd has faced pressure because of a scandal involving the Windrush generation, the first large group of Caribbean migrants to arrive in the UK after World War II.

May’s government recently said that the Home Office destroyed landing documents for those immigrants, meaning some of them and their children faced deportation after decades living in Britain because they don’t have the correct paperwork.

May apologized to Caribbean leaders for any “anxiety” caused by the records destruction. Rudd also apologized and told the House of Commons the UK would work to ensure citizenship for the Windrush generation.

The Windrush Generation came to symbolize the seismic demographic changes that took place in post-war Britain, when hundreds of thousands of people came to the United Kingdom from former British colonies, known as the Commonwealth.

But in recent years, successive British governments have sought to appear tough on illegal immigration, and their descendants are now struggling to prove a citizenship status they previously took for granted.

Political struggles

Rudd’s resignation further weakens May’s government.

The prime minister doesn’t have a majority in the UK parliament and is struggling with Brexit negotiations. She also faces scrutiny for destruction of the landing documents, which occurred when she was home secretary under the previous administration.

May served as home secretary from 2010 to 2016 under Prime Minister David Cameron.

Rudd was appointed home secretary in July 2016. She previously served in the government as secretary of state for energy and climate change, parliamentary under secretary of state for climate change and assistant government whip.

Rudd has been a member of Parliament since 2010, though she won her constituency in Hastings and Rye by only a few hundred votes in 2017.

May shook up her cabinet last January, but Rudd and other major figures kept their jobs.

Developing story — more to come.