And the Windrush scandal, which has left her reputation in tatters, is just the latest example of how the Home Office is often seen as a graveyard for political careers.
In modern times, only Theresa May has made the leap from Home Secretary to Prime Minister. And many MPs believe she and not her successor is really to blame for Windrush.
The daughter of a stockbroker, Amber Rudd was educated at the elite Cheltenham Ladies College and Edinburgh University before working for investment bankers JP Morgan.
And perhaps surprisingly for a politician with an unflashy image, she also worked on Richard Curtis’ hit 1994 film Four Weddings And A Funeral as “aristocracy co-ordinator”, which meant finding extras to appear in it. She appeared briefly in one of the church scenes herself.
In the 1990s she was married to the writer and restaurant critic AA Gill, who died in 2016, and they had two children.
He called her “the Silver Spoon” in his columns because of her privileged background.
After being placed on David Cameron’s A-list of parliamentary candidates, in 2010 she won the marginal seat of Hastings and Rye and was soon Parliamentary private secretary to the Chancellor, George Osborne. She was on her way.
After spells as a Government whip and junior minister in the coalition government, she joined the Cabinet as Energy and Climate Change Secretary when Mr Cameron won a Tory majority in 2015.
But it was the 2016 EU referendum campaign, which brought about the downfall of Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne, that dramatically raised her profile.
As a leading Remainer in the campaign, she was one of the stars of the TV debates and was involved in a memorable clash with the leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson.
She firmly told Mr Johnson: “You don’t save money by leaving the EU, instead you have less for public services.”
Her reward, when Theresa May became Prime Minister, was to succeed her at the Home Office, a top job but seen by many as a poisoned chalice.
And it has been a turbulent 22 months. Her first Tory conference speech as Home Secretary, in 2016, was reported as a hate incident to police after she suggested that companies should be forced to disclose how many foreign workers they employ.
She told the conference: “The test should ensure people coming here are filling gaps in the market, not taking jobs British people could do.”
But it was Windrush – and her apparent lack of grip on her department – that ended her tenure at the Home Office, despite a series of U-turns and apologies.
Hundreds of people who arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1971 from the Caribbean countries have been called the Windrush generation as they arrived on the MV Empire Windrush.
They were brought to the UK in response to post-war labour shortages in the UK and given indefinite leave to remain – but those without documents were recently told they needed evidence to continue working, get treatment from the NHS or to remain in the UK.
Ms Rudd’s downfall began on Monday when she apologised, saying: “There’s absolutely no question about their right to remain and I apologise about any wrongdoing to them.”
She was ultimately undone by the forensic probing of the Home Affairs Select Committee, when her evidence was contradicted by her own civil servants, who have now had their revenge.
She claimed: “If you’re asking me about numbers, that’s not how we operate.”
Besides a Home Secretary, Theresa May has also lost a key ally on the Brexit war cabinet as it tackles the vital issue of the customs union.
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Pro-Brexit MPs will shed few tears for her demise, but Remainers will be dismayed.
As will Theresa May, who now the Home Secretary has gone will become the chief target for opposition attacks on Windrush.