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Brandon Lewis spoke to Amber Rudd about 'ambition' for more removals

30 April 2018

Two Kent MPs have rallied behind the beleaguered Home Secretary Amber Rudd who is facing calls to quit over immigration targets.

For nearly two weeks, British ministers have been struggling to explain why some descendants of the so-called "Windrush generation", invited to Britain to plug labour shortfalls between 1948 and 1971, are being denied basic rights because of trouble documenting their status.

Diane Abbott, the shadow Home Secretary, added: "Brandon Lewis's attempt to save the Home Secretary's career by hiding behind semantics is insulting for the people who have been affected by the Tories' heartless policies".

Yvette Cooper, chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, who questioned Ms Rudd about targets, tweeted: "Well this is clearly not true".

"What the Home Secretary was very aware of was her ambition to see an increase in the number of people who were being here illegally".

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"We now understand people have been removed because of targets and she said she didn't know".

Within minutes of Ms Rudd's resignation, Labour MPs were suggesting that she was carrying the can for the real culprit.

Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd speaks at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, October 3, 2017.

I wasn't aware of specific removal targets.

While she maintained she was unaware of such measures, there was mounting evidence that targets did exist and were known about within her department, making her position increasingly untenable.

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Speaking to the BBC, Lewis said: "I've been in a room with Amber Rudd talking about increasing the number of returns, but Amber Rudd and I never discussed particular numbers in the way that was outlined at the Home Affairs Select Committee".

But in recent years, successive British governments have sought to appear tough on illegal immigration, and their descendants are now struggling to prove a citizenship status they previously took for granted. "It's time for Rudd to go".

A No 10 spokesman said: 'The prime minister has tonight accepted the resignation of the home secretary'.

Some of the Windrush generation have been threatened with deportation, lost their jobs, or been refused access to medical treatment. "When Amber Rudd says she didn't see something, I know she didn't see it". In a statement posted online she said: "The architect of this crisis, Theresa May, must now step forward to give an immediate, full and honest account of how this inexcusable situation happened on her watch".

"I am concerned that the Home Office has become too concerned with policy and strategy and sometimes loses sight of the individual", she told the British parliament.

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However, in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, he said the government was committed to "put things right" and he urged ethnic minority voters to look at the "bigger picture" when it came to Thursday's vote.

Brandon Lewis spoke to Amber Rudd about 'ambition' for more removals