Amber Rudd (pictured) took full responsibility for the mistake made in front of MPs when she resigned but a new report says her civil servants repeatedly gave her the wrong information
Amber Rudd was failed by her civil servants in the Home Office over the Windrush scandal which led to her resignation, it was reported last night.
The former home secretary resigned after giving false information to MPs about targets for the removal of illegal immigrants.
Though in her resignation letter she took full responsibility for the mistake, reports last night suggested that officials repeatedly gave her the wrong information.
They then failed to clear up the problem in time for her to correct the record, according to an internal report seen by the Times.
Despite the failings, the paper reported that the two leading officials who came under criticism have been moved to senior positions elsewhere in Whitehall.
The report examining the reasons for Ms Rudd’s resignation will reportedly be published today, and was published by Sir Alex Allan, the Prime Minister’s independent advisor on ministerial standards.
It is said to conclude that Ms Rudd ‘was not supported as she should have been’ by her officials.
It follows a series of errors made before, during and after her appearance at the Home Affairs select committee on April 25.
‘In preparations immediately before the hearing, the home secretary asked: ‘Are there removals targets?’ and was told ‘no’. This led to her denial in the hearing,’ he writes in an executive summary.
He adds: ‘I cannot establish why she was given this reply: the most likely explanation is crossed wires between her special advisor and her private office.’
The former home secretary resigned after giving false information to MPs about targets for the removal of illegal immigrants during the Windrush scandal
Although an official reportedly tried to alert civil servants with Ms Rudd that MPs had been told about the targets during an earlier session of the hearing, they did not tell her ‘due to misunderstandings amid the pressures of dealing with other urgent issues’.
‘After the Home Secretary had given her answer in the hearing there were confused email exchanges trying to establish the position on targets,’ Sir Alex writes.
‘The initial line that there were no targets was undermined when it emerged there had been a target until a few weeks earlier.
‘The home secretary [was] never provided with a briefing that might have allowed [her] to put the correct position on the record.
‘The Home Secretary returned to her room in the House of Commons after the hearing. Hugh Ind [director general of immigration enforcement] repeated the line that there were no targets but when pressed was not able to bring clarity to the issues being raised.’
Though Sir Alex concluded that no official should be investigated for professional misconduct he criticises Mr Ind for a ‘less than satisfactory’ performance.
Immediately after the report was submitted to Sir Philip Rutnam, the Home Office permanent secretary, Mr Ind was moved to the Cabinet Office to ‘take forward public sector apprenticeships strategy’, according to the paper.
The report adds that Patsy Wilkinson, permanent secretary, should have played a ‘more proactive role’.
Her records note she has left the Home Office, but do not include her current role.
Ms Rudd and the Home Office declined to comment.