Four reasons May’s still to blame for the Windrush scandal

Amber Rudd may have resigned and Sajid Javid swiftly installed as the new Home Secretary, but Theresa May still has serious questions to answer over the Windrush scandal.

Here are four reasons why May’s still to blame and could yet face consequences for her record as Home Secretary.

1. Rudd wrote to her about deportation targets

Rudd’s resignation was triggered by The Guardian’s publication of her letter to Theresa May titled “Immigration Enforcement” sent in January. In the letter, Rudd commits to “increasing the number of enforced removals by more than 10% over the next few years”. That means May should have been fully aware of her Home Secretary’s plan to ramp up deportations, even as Rudd and her former deputy Brandon Lewis told media outlets they were not aware of any such targets.

Nor is it credible that May was not aware of such targets. As Home Secretary, she told Parliament that the “UKBA is working to ensure that more illegal immigrants leave the UK this year than last”. If it looks like a target and sounds like a target, it’s probably a target.

2. Her policies blocked housing, job and NHS treatment for the Windrush generation

As Red Roar reported two weeks ago, it was May’s “hostile environment” policies that prevented British citizens from the Windrush generation from accessing housing, jobs, healthcare and more. May proudly announced these policies on the floor of the House of Commons, making her responsible for the consequences.

3. Windrush boarding cards were destroyed on her watch

Home Office whistleblowers said that Windrush landing cards were destroyed in 2010, under Theresa May’s tenure as Home Secretary, leaving victims of May’s policies without a way of proving that they had lived in the country for decades. May later shot back at PMQs that the decision had in fact been made in 2009, under Labour.

Channel 4’s Fact Check service has established that both dates are correct: the decision was taken in 2009 but only carried out in 2010 under Theresa May. But Fact Check make it clear that the landing cards were still destroyed on her watch, immediately before she set to work on policies that would require proof of residence for housing, jobs and NHS treatment.

4. She was warned this would happen

Theresa May claimed she would be “swift in responding” to the Windrush scandal, but Labour MP Andy Slaughter has a record of raising the issue with her as Home Secretary since 2014. Tottenham MP David Lammy, who has championed this cause in Parliament, slammed May for failing to listen to a report published by the Legal Action Group charity in 2014 which highlighted the problems her policies would cause for British citizens who lacked documents to prove their immigration status.

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