Labour demands government changes 'cruel' immigration policy

Windrush Scandal

The Home Secretary says she "bitterly regrets" not seeing the Windrush scandal as a wider issue than isolated cases.

Ms Rudd said: 'I bitterly, deeply regret that I didn't see it as more than individual cases that had gone wrong that needed addressing.

The row came amid deepening anger at the way members of the Windrush generation, who arrived from the Commonwealth in the decades following the Second World War and who have now been threatened with deportation, have been treated.

Rudd told the committee today while she was aware there was a problem with individuals facing wrongful deportation she did not "see it as a systemic issue until very recently".

The Home Office has launched a major review to check whether anyone has been incorrectly deported.

Ms Moreton, who appeared in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee before Ms Rudd, later told the channel: "It's inevitable that the Home Secretary will not know the details of every single small piece of targeting, but nonetheless there are targets for removals: last year's target was 8,337 nationally".

The crisis has focused attention on the role of Prime Minister Theresa May, who as interior minister set out to create a "really hostile environment" for illegal immigrants, imposing tough new requirements in 2012 for people to prove their legal status.

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Ms Rudd also denied that the Government's target to bring migration down to the hundreds of thousands had fuelled the problem.

Asked on Wednesday whether the target led to people who have a legal right to live in the United Kingdom being targeted for deportation, Rudd said: "I don't think that's got anything to do with it".

Asked if she had told May to ditch the target, Rudd said: "I have not discussed that with the prime minister".

Asked why it took her so long after repeated media requests from reporters, the Home Secretary said: "We get a lot of journalists, newspapers and MPs giving us their advice".

But she admitted her department still had no idea how many migrants have been wrongly detained by immigration authorities - like the grandmother Paulette Wilson, who spent a week in detention after being told she was in Britain illegally.

The issue dominated Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urging Mrs May to abandon the government's "cruel" immigration policy and abandon "bogus" targets.

Glynn Williams, the director general for border, immigration and citizenship, sitting beside her, said: "There are no published removal targets and there is nothing broken down by region, as far as I know".