World News

Sajid Javid to be UK home secretary after Windrush scandal resignation

Posted April 30, 2018 4:31 a.m. EDT

— Sajid Javid has been appointed the UK's new Home Secretary following the shock resignation of Amber Rudd late on Sunday night in the wake of a growing scandal over the so-called "Windrush generation" of migrants.

Javid, who is of Pakistani decent, is a the first member of an ethnic minority to hold the position. He was formerly the Communities, Local Government and Housing Secretary.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced Javid's position in a tweet Monday morning.

Former Home Secretary Rudd quit the top Cabinet post after admitting she "inadvertently misled" government over targets for the deportation of illegal immigrants.

The resignation comes amid a growing scandal over the government's mistreatment of the "Windrush generation," men and women from the Caribbean who arrived legally in Britain in the 1950s and 60s, but who have struggled to prove their status amid the crackdown on illegal immigration.

Rudd is the fourth high-ranking minister to resign from Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative government in the past six months, coming at a delicate time for the embattled leader already negotiating Britain's exit from the EU.

What is the Windrush scandal?

The Windrush generation came to Britain to help in the postwar rebuilding efforts, following the devastating effects of World War II.

May's government recently said the Home Office destroyed landing documents for members of the Windrush generation, meaning some of them and their children faced deportation after decades living in Britain because they don't have the correct paperwork.

May apologized to Caribbean leaders for any "anxiety" caused by the records destruction, which occurred when she was home secretary under the previous administration.

May was Rudd's predecessor, serving as Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016 under then-Prime Minister David Cameron. Policies from that time included sending out vans to tell illegal immigrants to "go home," making regular deportations and resistance to rescue operations that pulled drowning migrants from the Mediterranean.