Amber Rudd green

Following Amber Rudd's resignation as Home Secretary, our writers debate if she was simply a scapegoat for someone else's mistakes

James Davies
14th May 2018
Image: Flickr

To me, it actually seems quite unfair on Amber Rudd. Despite her actually being quite a weak politician, she was stronger than Theresa May. Theresa May was the one who didn’t show up to the debates, and in fact the one who set the targets that caused this Windrush scandal. Despite that, because Theresa May is no longer Home Secretary, the blame fell to the person who was in the position at the time all of this came out. Someone had to fall, had to be sacked. Once again, Theresa May has managed to stay in a role I don’t believe she deserves while those around her take the fall for her.


She was stupid, but I don't think Rudd was as evil as everyone made out


I’m not saying that Amber Rudd was perfect. She did, after all, very nearly lose her seat in the last General Election, and she did flat out deny the allegations at first, but in my view, she suffered the same fate many politicians in our country do. To an extent, most Conservative politicians probably feel like they’re being lead by someone who can’t run a bath, let alone a country. It’s really making people angry. The Tories seem to have less support with every passing day, the main reason being Theresa May being incapable. What I’m trying to say is that Amber Rudd was just a victim of a leader who is clinging on to power in whatever way necessary, not supporting her cabinet by accepting responsibility. It’s no wonder that senior party leaders continually turn on Theresa May.

Putting parties aside, Amber Rudd was, in my view, a good Home Secretary. I really do feel quite sorry for her that she’s resigned under these circumstances. She was certainly stupid, but I really don’t think she was as evil as everyone made out. I certainly don’t think she wanted to send people back to countries they’ve never been to, but I also think she was reckless not to look into the scandal further, and certainly she was reckless to deny it.

James Davies

Amber Rudd mislead, either deliberately or accidentally, the Home Affairs Select Committee about her knowledge of quotas on deportations from the UK. Deliberately misleading is a serious offence in Parliament and, as there is no way to prove if it was deliberate or not, Rudd had little choice but to resign.

What’s more, individual ministerial responsibility dictates that a minister is ultimately responsible for the actions of their department. So regardless of whether she did or did not know of the quotas, she should have. Thus, her department has clearly carried out a policy with serious negative impacts on UK citizens and she must take responsibility for this.


Rudd had little choice but to resign


However, these facts lead to an entirely different issue. The real debate is not whether Amber Rudd should have resigned, but whether anyone else should also take responsibility for the “Windrush Scandal”. The most high-profile example is the Prime Minister, Theresa May. As the Home Secretary when the policy was first enacted, it is Theresa May who first brought to life the “hostile environment”. Aimed at forcing illegal immigrants, who lack an indefinite leave to remain, to leave the UK of their own accord due to a “hostile environment”. Unfortunately, this policy has also led to those dubbed “the Windrush Generation”, who should have had the right to remain in the UK, suffering from unacceptable treatment by the UK government, including denial of NHS care and welfare benefits.

A synonymous situation can be seen in the devolved government of Northern Ireland, where the Renewable Heating Incentive scheme saw the loss of nearly half a billion pounds of taxpayer money. The similarity is that the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister, who was in charge when the scheme was enacted, went on to become the First Minister, Arlene Foster. As the impact of the failed scheme came to light, many in the devolved legislature felt she should resign as First Minister, citing Individual Ministerial Responsibility. Foster refused, and the government subsequently collapsed.

With such catastrophic results in Northern Ireland, the question has to be asked. What damage could Theresa May cause to the UK government if she refuses to step down over her involvement in the Windrush Scandal?

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  1. For anyone interested in this issue, there is a free event taking place on 27th June (next Wednesday) where both Windrush and the hostile environment for migrants will be key themes. Hostile Environment: Resisting Everyday Borders, an evening of films and discussion where you can find out more about resistance to border controls within our local community, as well as what we can do together to oppose this in future. Facebook event/more details

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