British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday named Sajid Javid, the son of a Pakistani bus driver, the new Home Secretary following Amber Rudd’s resignation for “inadvertently misleading” MPs over targets for removing illegal immigrants.
Javid, whose family came to the UK in the 1960s, is currently Communities, Local Government and Housing Secretary, reports the BBC. He is also the first member of an ethnic minority to hold the position.
The 48-year-old former investment banker and MP for Bromsgrove had also served as the Business and Culture Secretaries.
“The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of the Sajid Javid MP as Secretary of State for the Home Department,” the Downing Street said.
Rudd handed her resignation papers to May on Sunday night. Her exit followed weeks of revelations about the treatment of “Windrush generation” of Caribbean immigrants, who settled legally in post-war Britain but whose right-to-remain has been questioned, and controversy over the government’s “hostile environment” immigration policy.
Following Javid’s promotion, the Downing Street also announced that former Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire will return to the cabinet as Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary.
Javid, who first entered Parliament in 2010 and supported remaining in the European Union despite being regarded as a Eurosceptic, led the government’s response to last year’s Grenfell fire disaster.
Over the weekend, he told the Sunday Telegraph the Windrush scandal felt “very personal”.
“I’m a second-generation migrant. My parents came to this country from Pakistan just like the Windrush generation.
“They came to this country after the Second World War to help rebuild it… My dad worked in a cotton mill, he worked as a bus driver.
“When I heard about the Windrush issue, I thought that could’ve been my mum, dad, uncle or me.”
Rudd’s resignation after the Guardian revealed that in a leaked 2017 letter to May, Rudd had told the Prime Minister of her intention to increase deportations by 10 per cent, seemingly at odds with her denials that she was aware of deportation targets.
She was due to appear in the House of Commons on Monday to explain the revelation.
Speculation about her future had swirled on April 27, as the Home Office and Downing Street failed to respond to claims that she was aware of targets for removing illegal migrants from Britain.
On April 26, May had apologised to the UK’s black community in a letter she sent to the national Afro-Caribbean daily, The Voice, saying: “We have let you down and I am deeply sorry. But apologies alone are not good enough. We must urgently right this historic wrong.” (IANS)