Many Tories have been paying tribute to Amber Rudd, among them some of her possible successors in the Home Office hotseat:
And some not so much:
As well as the issue of who takes over from Rudd, another big question today will be about Theresa May’s own role in designing the harsh immigration policies that her hapless home secretary was left to defend. The prime minister was at the Home Office for six years and was behind much of the “hostile environment” policy that led to the Windrush debacle.
Labour and the Lib Dems have called for her to appear in the Commons today and explain the resignation and why the government has ended up trying to hound out of the country people who are perfectly entitled to live here.
Our political editor Heather Stewart says May has now lost her human shield with the departure of Rudd, arguing that the home secretary had survived a week of attacks because 1) she was popular with cabinet colleagues and 2) she was a lightning rod for criticism that would otherwise have rained down on her boss. Here’s Heather piece in full:
Our columnist Isabel Hardman has also written about the May/Rudd axis:
If you want to know more about Amber Rudd, the now former home secretary, there is this excellent profile of her by our political reporter Anne Perkins.
The Tory mood might be as miserable as the weather across much of Britian this morning, but early birds from the other side are chirping away on social media. Former Labour cabinet minister Andrew Adonis invokes Animal Farm.
While the Mirror’s Kevin Maguire takes a more head-on approach:
While we’re warming up, there’s a slew of excellent articles to read about Rudd’s resignation and the Windrush scandal that forced her to go.
The Guardian reporter who has led the story, Amelia Gentleman, explains how her low-key investigation grew into a national scandal.
There’s also the killer letter unearthed by our investigative team yesterday that appears to have finally forced Rudd to realise she had to go.
What the papers are saying …
The news of Amber Rudd’s resignation dropped late in the evening, forcing some editors to scrap their original front pages and redraw them.
The best puns of the night go to the Mirror’s “Good Ruddance” and the Sun’s “Ruddy, steady, go”.
The other papers were more prosaic. The Times and Metro kept it short and pithy with: “Rudd resigns” and “Rudd quits” respectively.
The Express ponders what Rudd’s exit will mean for the prime minister. The paper says Theresa May is now “facing the biggest political crisis of her premiership”.
The Mail agrees, saying the resignation is a “huge blow” to May. The Guardian leads with “Rudd quits over Windrush scandal”, saying the home secretary’s dramatic departure came as she struggled to account for her role in the unjust treatment of Windrush citizens.
The Telegraph says “Rudd quits as leaked letter leaves her denial in tatters”, citing the private letter written by Rudd to May as the reason for the resignation.
One the big questions today is who Theresa May will appoint in Amber Rudd’s place? Will it be Jeremy Hunt? Michael Gove? Sajid Javid? Robert Peston tweeted last night that she could do worse than pick former Labour cabinet minister Yvette Cooper. Quite an outlier, you’d have to say. Here are the contenders:
And this what Ladbrokes has to say on the matter:
Hello, I’m Martin Farrer and I’ll be taking you through the first part of the morning as we follow the developments after the resignation of home secretary Amber Rudd.
Here is what we know so far:
- Rudd said she quit because she now accepted that she should have been aware that the Home Office had targets for the removal of illegal immigrants. On Wednesday she told the home affairs committee that such targets did not exist. On Thursday she admitted they did exist, but claimed not to have known about them. On Friday, after the Guardian published evidence that her office had been told about the targets, she claimed that she had not seen the particular leaked document in question. Tonight, after a more thorough review of her ministerial paper trail, she accepted that she should have known about the information sent to her office mentioning targets.
- May is expected to appoint a replacement to Rudd today. She will want to appoint someone with the authority and ability to defuse the Windrush scandal, while being mindful of the need not to upset the cabinet’s delicate Brexit balance. (The home secretary sits on the cabinet’s 11-strong key Brexit decision making body, the EU exit and trade [strategy and negotiation] sub committee, and Rudd was one of the members pushing most strongly for a softer Brexit.)
- Labour and the Lib Dems have called on May to come to the Commons to make a statement about Rudd’s resignation and the Windrush debacle. Rudd’s departure poses a significant threat to May because May herself when she was home secretary introduced many of the measures that have led to Windrush migrants losing jobs or benefits, or facing the threat of deportation, but until now Rudd has shouldered much of the blame.
- Rudd has used her resignation letter to confirm that the Home Office is preparing emergency legislation to protect the rights of the Windrush generation. In a significant admission, Rudd also referred to it as “the Windrush scandal” in her letter.
- In her reply, May suggested that Rudd could return to government in due course. “I know that you have a great contribution still to make to national life, and look forward to seeing you do so,” the prime minister wrote.
Updated at 5.56am BST
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