AMBER Rudd last night made a grovelling apology after a leaked memo cast doubt on her denial that she was briefed on immigration removal targets.
The Home Secretary resisted calls to quit, saying she is sorry for not being aware of documents.
She had already told a committee of MPs on Wednesday that “we don’t have targets”. But a leaked internal Home Office document from June 2017 referred to “a target of achieving 12,800 enforced returns in 2017-18”. It also said: “We have exceeded our target of assisted returns.”
The Guardian claims the memo was copied to Ms Rudd, the then-immigration minister Brandon Lewis and a number of officials and advisers.
Ms Rudd, already facing calls to resign over her handling of the Windrush scandal, claimed she had not seen the memo despite it being sent to her by officials.
She tweeted: “I wasn’t aware of specific removal targets. I accept I should have been and I’m sorry that I wasn’t.
“I didn’t see the leaked document, although it was copied to my office as many documents are.”
Last night she said she will be making a statement in the Commons on Monday in response to “legitimate questions that have arisen on targets and illegal migration”.
Opposition parties called for Ms Rudd to go, saying her position had become “untenable” and accused her of misleading Parliament.
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said yesterday: “She needs to accept responsibility and resign immediately”.
But a Home Office source said Ms Rudd was “going nowhere”.
And a Downing Street spokesman said she had the PM’s full confidence.
The Windrush row came after it emerged migrants from Commonwealth countries who settled in the UK from the 1940s but could not prove they had lived here continuously were threatened with deportation.
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