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Sajid Javid Is Named U.K. Home Secretary, Replacing Amber Rudd

April 30, 2018

He has also spoken of how his family of seven lived in two bedrooms above a store. “I shared a room with my parents; there were two double beds, I was with one of my siblings, and there were two double beds in the other room,” Mr. Javid, whose father was a bus driver, told The Times of London this year.

During the 2016 referendum on European Union withdrawal, Mr. Javid argued for Britain to remain in the bloc, a fact that helps Mrs. May maintain a political balance in her cabinet over the issue, known as Brexit. Mr. Javid’s old job will be filled by James Brokenshire, who returns to the cabinet after a recent departure for medical treatment.

Ms. Rudd, who had been under pressure for days because of the Windrush scandal, announced her resignation after admitting that she had “inadvertently misled” lawmakers about deportation targets for illegal immigrants, having initially denied that the targets existed.

Sajid Javid Is Named U.K. Home Secretary, Replacing Amber RuddSajid Javid Is Named U.K. Home Secretary, Replacing Amber Rudd

Ms. Rudd’s resignation — the fourth such departure from the cabinet in six months — is a significant setback for Mrs. May and threatens to leave the prime minister more exposed to criticism about immigration policy, which she oversaw as home secretary from 2010 to 2016.


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Ms. Rudd had resisted pressure to quit, but the onslaught intensified last week after she told a parliamentary committee that there were no targets for deporting illegal immigrants.

The statement proved to be incorrect and, although Ms. Rudd later insisted that she did not know about the targets, that defense crumbled, too. On Friday, she acknowledged in a Twitter post that she had been copied on an email that mentioned migrant deportation targets, but she said that she had not read it.

3/4 I didn’t see the leaked document, although it was copied to my office as many documents are.

— Amber Rudd MP (@AmberRuddHR) April 27, 2018

Another document leaked on Sunday appeared to show that she had discussed deportation targets in a letter sent to Mrs. May.

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Having misled lawmakers, Ms. Rudd found her position increasingly untenable and ultimately opted to quit rather than suffer another ordeal on Monday, when she was scheduled to appear again before Parliament.

In her resignation letter, Ms. Rudd acknowledged that she had “inadvertently misled” lawmakers over deportation targets.

“I should have been aware of this and I take full responsibility for the fact that I was not,” she wrote.

Mrs. May said that Ms. Rudd had answered questions from the parliamentary committee “in good faith” and that she was “very sorry” to see her leave.

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Some had predicted that Ms. Rudd would survive the scandal because she was acting as a political shield for Mrs. May, the previous home secretary. During her lengthy tenure in the job, Mrs. May tried, and failed, to bring net migration into Britain to below 100,000 people a year.

Though members of the Windrush generation had a right to be in the country, many struggled to prove it, in part because the home office under Mrs. May had destroyed copies of the landing cards they were issued upon entry. Many became ensnared in a system that sought, under Mrs. May, to make life hard for those in Britain illegally.

The scandal has also raised concerns about whether European Union citizens currently living in Britain might face similar bureaucratic problems after Brexit.


Ms. Rudd admitted having “inadvertently misled” lawmakers.Credit Neil Hall/EPA, via Shutterstock

In the past, Mr. Javid has not always agreed with Mrs. May on policy issues and, given his family background, some commentators believe that he may seek significant changes to immigration policies, perhaps abandoning targets to limit net immigration or excluding students from the numbers.

That could provoke tension with Mrs. May, but Mr. Javid will have some bargaining power.

Unless the Windrush crisis can be calmed quickly, Ms. Rudd’s departure leaves Mrs. May more exposed to criticism from the opposition Labour Party and others.

“After this scandal and its botched cover-up, Amber Rudd’s resignation was inevitable. It should have come sooner,” Diane Abbott, who speaks for Labour on domestic affairs, said in a statement.

“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,” Ms. Abbott added.

Ed Davey, who speaks for the centrist Liberal Democrats on home affairs, said that it was “clear that Amber Rudd has ended up, at least partly, being the fall guy to protect the prime minister.”

“Theresa May must face questions now given these dreadful failures largely took place under her watch as home secretary,” Mr. Davey added in a statement.

Ms. Rudd’s departure also removes from the cabinet one of its strongest pro-European voices. But she will remain a lawmaker and might strengthen the number of Conservative Party backbenchers prepared to defy the government if it pursues a “hard” Brexit, or clean break with the European Union.

In recent weeks, Mrs. May’s grip on power had been strengthened by her steady handling of the poisoning of the Russian former spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

Since Mrs. May lost her parliamentary majority in elections last June, her leadership has often been under question, and she has already suffered three cabinet resignations.

In December, Damian Green, who was effectively Mrs. May’s deputy, quit after an investigation found that he had misled the public about pornography found on his parliamentary computer.

Priti Patel, the international development secretary, resigned from the cabinet last year after breaching ministerial rules by holding a dozen unauthorized meetings with Israeli officials during a summer vacation. And a scandal over sexual harassment in Parliament prompted the departure of the defense secretary, Michael Fallon.

A version of this article appears in print on April 30, 2018, on Page A7 of the New York edition with the headline: British Home Secretary Quits Over Deportation Targets. Order Reprints|Today’s Paper|Subscribe

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