Amber Rudd is being summoned back to the parliament after twice appearing to give MPs false information.
She is supposed to be giving a statement in the House of Commons on Monday, in which she will most probably apologise again for the allaegations she made about the government’s use of deportation targets.
Yvette Cooper, the chair of a leading parliamentary board, said she had also asked the harassed home secretary to answer MPs’ questions amid “serious concern” over the accuracy of her previous statements.
Ms Cooper said she had asked Ms Rudd to appear in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee once again to give an explanation as to why she had appeared to be unaware of her department’s numerical targets for deportations.
Ms Rudd has originally told the board that the Home Office did not use targets for deportations, but this statement was later proved to be false. She then said that she had been unaware of the targets, but this too provoked questions when a leaked memo showed that the details of the policy had already been sent to her office.
Ms Cooper told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “We have obviously been given inaccurate information in parliament twice now.
“This is a serious concern, and I am calling Amber Rudd to come back and give further evidence to the committee.
“I think we will also want to hear from the permanent secretary as well, because this raises some questions about the way the Home Office is operating.”
2/4 I wasn’t aware of specific removal targets. I accept I should have been and I’m sorry that I wasn’t.
— Amber Rudd MP (@AmberRuddHR) April 27, 2018
As she tried to hang on to her job, Ms Rudd used a thread of tweets to react to the leaked memo – after around nine hours of it being published.
She wrote: “I will be making a statement in the House of Commons on Monday in response to legitimate questions that have arisen on targets and illegal migration.
“I wasn’t aware of specific removal targets. I should have been and I’m sorry that I wasn’t. I didn’t see the leaked document, although it was copied to my office as many documents are.
“As home secretary I will work to ensure that our immigration policy is fair and humane.”
Windrush generation: threat of deportation from UK
Labour repeats its calls for Ms Rudd to quit over the issue.
Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, told Today: ”I am just surprised that she doesn’t seem to take the issue seriously enough to offer her resignation.
“Nobody, least of all the communities and the Windrush victims, is going to take the government seriously on this issue until Amber Rudd offers her resignation.
Ms Abbott later said that the idea to set a “broad numerical target” could have been a cause behind the Windrush scandal, which saw people who have lived in the UK for decades losing jobs, pensions and healthcare and being threatened with deportation.
“It wasn’t saying, for instance, we have to have a target for deporting former criminals. The danger is that that very broad target put pressure on the Home Office officials to bundle Jamaican grandmothers into detention centres,” she said.
Michael Gove, the environment secretary, said: “When documents that should be placed in front of a home secretary aren’t then placed in front of a home secretary, that is sad, that is regrettable.
“But she was very clear both in her apology and also in the fact that this specific document wasn’t placed in her box, wasn’t brought to her attention. It wasn’t a matter for decision. It was specifically prepared for another minister. It was sent to his office. It was copied in to the home secretary’s office.”
Calling Ms Rudd a “highly talented and highly effective minister”, he added: “There are hundreds of documents which are copied in to a secretary of state’s office every day and week. Some of those documents are not then brought to the secretary of state’s specific attention.”
David Gauke, the justice secretary, told the Today programme: ”She has accepted that she made a mistake. She didn’t knowingly mislead the House of Commons, but she accepted that she was inaccurate in her statements.
“She is coming back to the House of Commons on Monday to correct the record.
“I have worked closely with Amber. I think she is an excellent home secretary and I look forward to working with her in future.”
Downing Street also claimed Theresa May had full confidence in Ms Rudd.
“The PM has full confidence in the home secretary, and the hugely important work that she is carrying out at the Home Office,” a spokesperson said.
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