Amber Rudd

Amber Rudd incompetent or conveniently forgetting?


The Home office and it’s ministers need to stop playing with people’s lives the Windrush generation are British citizens not faceless numbers.

Amber Rudd was told about migrant removal targets, leak reveals

Exclusive: Secret memo contradicts home secretary’s claim she was unaware of targets

Amber Rudd’s insistence that she knew nothing of Home Office targets for immigration removals risks unravelling following the leak of a secret internal document prepared for her and other senior ministers.

The six-page memo, passed to the Guardian, says the department has set “a target of achieving 12,800 enforced returns in 2017-18” and boasts that “we have exceeded our target of assisted returns”.

It adds that progress has been made on a “path towards the 10% increased performance on enforced returns, which we promised the home secretary earlier this year”.

Rudd told the home affairs select committee this week that the Home Office did not have targets for removals. She had to backtrack when it emerged there were localised targets, but she said she was unaware of them. The leak undermines her narrative.

Forced back into parliament on Thursday, she admitted there were operational targets but said she would be abandoning the policy.

On Thursday, the home secretary told reporters she had “not approved, seen or cleared any targets for removals”, and suggested any targets that did exist were regional rather than national.

“We were gobsmacked by what she said, and that she stuck to her guns,” a Home Office source told the Guardian. “It is inconceivable that Amber Rudd did not know about the targets.”

Sources said there were regular meeting between ministers and senior officials at which specific national targets were discussed, including details of how Home Office departments would achieve the 10% increase in the number of people being removed from the UK every year – a goal set by Rudd personally.

The revelations are likely to reignite the row that has already led to calls for, and it comes amid widespread criticism of the hostile environment engineered by the Home Office to accelerate the country’s deportation programme.

The leaked memo, dated 21 June 2017, was a “summary of performance” prepared by Immigration Enforcement, which is responsible for tracking down and deporting immigration offenders. It states that 12,503 enforced returns were achieved in 2016-17, which was regarded as a “success given the particularly damaging impact” from the number of late claims for asylum.

The memo adds: “IE has set a target of achieving 12,800 enforced returns in 2017-18, aided by the redistribution of resources towards this area. This will move us along the path towards the 10% increased performance on enforced returns, which we promised the home secretary earlier this year.”

The summary then moves on to “assisted returns”, cases where, for instance, someone has left the country voluntarily on a flight paid for by the British government.

“Typically these will be our most vulnerable returnees,” the memo says. “We have exceeded our target of assisted returns. We set an internal target of 1,250 of these returns for 2016-17 … we delivered 1,581.”

At the bottom of the memo is a list of all those who received copies of the findings. The home secretary, permanent secretary, second permanent secretary and special advisers are the first to be named.

Read more and full story at the Guardian 

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