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Prime Minister Theresa May lost a key ally this weekend after Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned saying she “inadvertently misled” government over targets for the deportation of illegal immigrants.
On Sunday, media published the full letter in which Rudd set out her “ambitious but deliverable” aim to deport 10 per cent more illegal immigrants over the “next few years” to May.
In her resignation letter, Rudd has stated that she takes “full responsibility” for the fact she was not aware of “information provided to (her) office”.
Here is PM’s reply in full (as published in the Independent):
Thank you for your letter of this evening tendering your resignation as Home Secretary. I was very sorry to receive it, but understand your reasons for doing so.
When you addressed the House of Commons and the Home Affairs Select Committee last week on the issue of illegal immigration, you answered the questions put to you in good faith. People who have entered the United Kingdom illegally or overstayed here should expect to face the full force of the law and know that they will be removed if they will not leave this country voluntarily. Just as importantly, people who have come here legally and enriched the life of our country should not expect the state unreasonably to challenge their presence here; rather, it should help them prove their right to continue living here and contributing to the life of our nation.
Under your tenure, the Home Office has been working to enforce a firm but fair immigration policy – working to increase the number of illegal migrants we remove, while ensuring that we continue to recognise the huge contribution of everyone who has come to the UK legally, and remain open to the brightest and best from across the globe.
When you spoke in the House of Commons, you said that you had not agreed specific removal targets, but that the Home Office’s Immigration Enforcement command had been using local targets for internal performance management. You also said that you were not aware that those operational targets had been set.
I understand why, now that you have had chance to review the advice that you have received on this issue, you have made the decision you have made and taken responsibility for inadvertently misleading the Home Affairs Select Committee.
I am very sorry to see you leaving the Home Office, but you should take great pride in what you have achieved there – working with internet service providers to set up the first Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism and take extremist and terrorist content offline; countering the cyber threat to British families and businesses; standing up for the victims of crime, abuse and domestic violence; offering shelter to refugees from Syria and elsewhere; and advancing the cause of equality as minister for women and equalities.
This comes on top of the considerable contribution you have made to Government since 2012 – first as a whip, then as minister and subsequently secretary of state at the Department for Energy and Climate Change – as well as the devoted service you have always given, and will continue to give, to your constituents in Hastings and Rye.
As a former home secretary myself, I appreciate the particular demands of that great office of state. You should take great pride in the way you have led the Home Office and its dedicated public servants through a number of serious challenges, including five terrorist incidents and other complex national events. You have done so with great integrity, compassion and selflessness – notwithstanding the personal and political challenges you have faced during this period.
I know that you have a great contribution still to make to national life, and look forward to seeing you do so.
The letter is signed: “Yours ever, Theresa May.”