'Amber Rudd should have known about deportation targets' - MP Grant Shapps
PUBLISHED: 18:51 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:10 01 May 2018
Welwyn Hatfield's MP has said the former Home Secretary should have known about her department's deportation targets amid the Windrush scandal.
Amber Rudd resigned on Sunday after leaked documents revealed that the Home Office had been set targets – despite the Tory MP previously claiming there were none.
In the aftermath Grant Shapps told the WHT: “Once she had told the Select Committee that there were no deportation targets, when it turned out they did exist, her position became difficult to sustain.
“As a minister you do have to juggle a lot of information, but by her own admission she should have been familiar with these targets.”
The controversy began when it emerged that some migrants who settled in the UK between the 1940s and 1973 were wrongly being declared illegal immigrants.
As a result, many were being threatened with deportation because they had not been given the correct documentation.
Following Ms Rudd’s targets denial, a memo that was sent to her office was leaked and published in The Guardian, which said the department had set “a target of achieving 12,800 enforced returns in 2017-18”.
Days later another document was leaked, which appeared to be a letter from Ms Rudd to Downing Street outlining her “ambitious but deliverable” aim to deport 10 per cent more illegal immigrants over the coming years.
Mr Shapps said: “Most people would agree that the UK should be deporting others who have no legal right to remain in the UK.
“People who have been right through the appeal system, but still refuse to leave, for example.
“So it wasn’t so much the policy of having deportation targets for those who are here illegally here, but rather not apparently knowing about it that caused Amber Rudd to resign.”
Labour’s Parliamentary candidate Tara-Mary Lyons has been contacted for comment.