New Home Secretary Sajid Javid vows to protect Windrush generation after admitting it could have been his family

He was promoted from Communities Secretary to replace Amber Rudd after her dramatic resignation, becoming one of Theresa May’s most powerful ministers.

And speaking outside the Home Office today, he confessed his “most urgent task” is to sort out the Windrush crisis which ended up bringing down Ms Rudd.

Mr Javid said: “My first priority is to make sure the Home Office always does all it can to keep the British people safe. That's a huge responsibility, something I take very seriously.

"The most urgent task I have is to help those British citizens that came from the Caribbean, the so-called Windrush generation, and make sure that they are treated with the decency and the fairness that they deserve.

"We are going to have a strategy in place that does something the previous Home Secretary set out last week when she made a statement to Parliament about making sure we have an immigration policy that is fair, it treats people with respect and with decency.”

Just 24 hours before his promotion Mr Javid, whose father moved to Britain from Pakistan and worked as a bus driver, spoke of his personal anguish at seeing the suffering faced by the Windrush generation.

He said in an interview: "I thought that could be my mum… my dad… my uncle… it could be me."

Mr Javid's old job at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government will be taken by James Brokenshire, Number 10 said this morning.

Mr Brokenshire was previously Northern Ireland Secretary, but he stood down from the Cabinet in January to undergo cancer surgery.

The job of Minister for Women and Equalities, which was also held by Ms Rudd, has gone to International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt.

The announcement came this morning after Ms Rudd quit the Home Office.

Writing to the PM late last night, she admitted misleading Parliament by telling MPs she didn't know officials were given targets for the number of illegal migrants to deport.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott – who earlier refused to explain her policy on illegal migration – warned that Mr Javid must get a grip on the Windrush crisis and suggested he would be a “human shield” for the PM.

She said: "The change in Home Secretary will mean nothing unless Theresa May's ‘hostile environment’ policy is finally brought to an end.

“As the Windrush scandal has proven, and as some of us warned the Government four years ago, this policy has ripped lives apart, including the lives of British nationals and others who have the right to be here.”

Lib Dem home affairs chief Ed Davey added: "I welcome Mr Javid to his new role and wish him well. However, he now faces a mammoth task of turning around Theresa May's failures at the Home Office.”

Mrs May today repeatedly refused to accept the suggestion that she should take responsibility for the Windrush scandal and resign.

Speaking during a trip to Greater Manchester, the PM said: “If you look at the concerns that people have in the Windrush generation, these people are British, they are here, they are part of us, they have a right to be here.

"What some of them don't have is documents that show that and this is an issue that I think has come up in individual cases over a number of years.

“But what the Home Office is now doing is putting a team in place, we're reaching out and anybody from the Windrush generation who is anxious about this should get in touch with that team.”

Mrs May also paid tribute to Ms Rudd’s time as Home Secretary, saying: “I think she can look back with pride on her time as Home Secretary.”

Jeremy Corbyn said it was right for the minister to quit and added: “Amber Rudd has been the human shield for Theresa May, and she’s now gone.

“Theresa May now has questions to answer about what she actually did as Home Secretary and what she said.”

Mr Javid has been Communities Secretary since July 2016, and previously served as Business Secretary and Culture Secretary.

The 48-year-old, who became MP for Bromsgrove in 2010, has long been tipped as a possible future Tory leader, and is now arguably the most powerful non-white person in British political history.

He backed Remain in the EU referendum despite having a reputation as a Eurosceptic.

The father of four worked as an investment banker for more than a decade before entering politics.

Mr Javid said he would call his mother later to tell her the news.

Asked about his immigrant roots today, he said: "My parents came to our great country in the 60s. They came from Pakistan to help build this country.

"I think for them to see one of their sons rise to this great office of state, I'm sure they will be very proud. But I haven't called my mum yet but I will do later."

Senior Tories welcomed the news that Mr Javid had been promoted to one of the traditional "Great Offices of State".

Liz Truss said: "Saj is effective, no-nonsense and brave. Most of all he is an optimist about the future."

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock called the new Home Secretary "a serious political thinker who gets things done".

And influential backbencher Nick Boles tweeted: "Proud to be a colleague of the first British Muslim Home Secretary. I look forward to seeing @sajidjavid put his own stamp on our immigration policy."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan – who is also the son of a Pakistani-born bus driver – added: "Congratulations @sajidjavid. I hope we can work together to tackle the tough challenges we face – from making sure our police have the resources they need, urgently dealing with the Windrush Scandal, and putting an end to the ‘hostile environment’ for migrants."

But some Labour MPs claimed that Mr Javid had not done enough to deal with the aftermath of the deadly Grenfell Tower fire in his previous post.

Mr Brokenshire, 51, today spoke of his delight at re-entering frontline politics after undergoing surgery to treat lung cancer earlier this year.

He wrote on Twitter: "Honoured to have been asked by the Prime Minister to serve as Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government.

"Looking forward to taking the Government’s agenda forward especially on building the homes our country needs."

Mrs May now faces calls to resign herself, after her tough migration policies were blamed for causing the Windrush generation scandal.

Ms Rudd served as Home Secretary for nearly two years after taking over from Mrs May when she entered Downing Street.

Two former Home Secretaries have called for national ID cards to be introduced to stop a repeat of the Windrush crisis.

Ex-Labour MPs Alan Johnson and Charles Clarke said the cards – proposed by Tony Blair – would make it easy for legal migrants to prove they have a right to stay in Britain.

They wrote in a letter to The Times: “Theresa May's ideological and unwise decision to ditch the Labour government's scheme immediately she took office as Home Secretary has left her and her beleaguered successor with no idea how to tackle the most pernicious form of immigration: illegal entry.

“Biometric cards remain the best way to prove and so protect a citizen's identity, which is why most major European countries have them.”

From the son of a Pakistani bus driver to one of the Great Offices of State – the rise and rise of Sajid Javid

SAJID Javid has been announced as the new Home Secretary after Amber Rudd’s shock resignation last night, becoming the first person of BAME background to hold one of the Great Offices of State, Alain Tolhurst writes.

It represents the culmination of a remarkable rise by the 48-year-old son of a Pakistani bus driver, now the most-powerful non-white person in British politics.

One of five sons, he was born in Rochdale but moved with his family to Bristol, where he attended Downend School, a state comprehensive, before studying economics and politics at Exeter University.

It was there he first joined the Conservatives, and he attended his first party conference aged 20, campaigning against and the Thatcher government's decision to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

After university he worked in finance, including at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, then in South America before returning to London in 1997.

He left in 2009, and was elected as an MP for the Bromsgrove constituency in Worcestershire a year later at the 2010 election.

Appointed to his fist ministerial position in 2012, he has consistently been seen as one to watch in the party.

He first joined the Cabinet as culture secretary in 2014, and in 2016 he stood on a joint ticket with Stephen Crabb in the last Conservative leadership election.

He would have become Chancellor, but his running mate dropped out after the first round of voting following revelations about his personal life.

Javid has however maintained a high profile despite a number of calamities on his watch, including the Tata steel crisis while he was Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

While it was being announced the India giant was shutting down the Port Talbot plants putting thousands of jobs at risk he was on a plane to Australia with his daughter.

He had to cut his holiday short and fly back to try and find a buyer for the steelworks, but faced calls to resign his position.

And he was Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government when the Grenfell disaster took place last year, and has faced a furious backlash for his handling of the fallout from the deadly fire.

But he rode out the criticism with the backing of Theresa May, and is now set to take over at one of the most prestigious – and toughest – departments in Government.

Mr Javid is married to his wife Laura, who have four children together.

Although he said his family's heritage is Muslim, he said he does not personally practise any religion.

But due to his background he was one of the MPs targeted with the sick "Punish a Muslim day" letters in March this year.

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