UK: New Home Secretary Javid pledges Windrush help

Britain's Communities Secretary Sajid Javid

Britain's interior minister Amber Rudd resigned on Sunday over an illegal immigration policy controversy, in a bitter blow to Prime Minister Theresa May days before local elections.

It follows the resignations of former defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon, Priti Patel as global development secretary, Damian Green as first minister and James Brokenshire, who left his role as Northern Ireland secretary on health grounds.

Javid's appointment is widely seen as a way for May to curtail the backlash from the Windrush scandal, which brought to light the unfair treatment of Commonwealth citizens from Jamaica over a lack of citizenship documentation.

Javid - who backed the Remain campaign, but has since said his "heart" was for Brexit and spoken out against customs union membership - will immediately be tasked with sorting out the Windrush scandal, ensuring that migrants are able to obtain their United Kingdom citizenship as well as establishing a compensation scheme for those who have been affected. Opponents say the government should drop that target.

The Windrush scandal has rightly shone a light on an important issue for our country.

"I have tremendous respect for Sajid Javid and I am confident that he has the right qualities to address the difficulties in the Home Office, including tackling the Windrush-generation situation and our long-term immigration policy".

The opposition Labour Party had accused Rudd of incompetence and being a "human shield" for May.

Rudd was due to appear in the House of Commons on Monday to explain the revelation.

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The letter she wrote to Prime Minister Theresa May in January past year, which was published in the Guardian on Sunday, mentioned her forthcoming visit to Pakistan to finalise an agreement on biometric returns which would make it easier to deport illegal immigrants to that country.

After repeated challenges to her testimony on the deportation of immigrants, Rudd telephoned May on Sunday and offered her resignation.

To cheers from members within the Chamber, she said: "Could I take the opportunity to congratulate my right honourable friend for Bromsgrove on his appointment to the Home Office".

The government has apologised to Windrush migrants and their families, promised citizenship and compensation to those affected, including to people who have lost their jobs and been threatened with deportation because of the errors.

Rudd had been under pressure for weeks after relevations about her department's treatment of the so-called Windrush generation of Caribbean migrants who came to Britain between the mid-1940s and the 1970s as the country rebuilt itself after the second World War.

Nearly half a million people left their homes in the West Indies to live in Britain between 1948 and 1970, according to Britain's National Archives. "Warm words don't cut it. Announcements by Ministers with no legal backing are simply not good enough". "It's about a compliant environment".

They and subsequent Caribbean migrants came from British colonies or ex-colonies and had an automatic right to settle in the U.K. But some have been ensnared by tough new laws meant to make Britain a "hostile environment" for illegal immigrants.

Mrs May is facing revolt by pro-Brexit MPs who oppose her plans to remain within some form of Customs Union with the EU after Brexit and Ms Rudd was a key cabinet ally against them.

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