Amber Augusta Rudd
Amber Augusta Rudd (born 1 August 1963) is a British former politician who served as Home Secretary from 2016 to 2018 and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from 2018 to 2019. She was a Member of Parliament (MP) for Hastings and Rye, first elected in 2010, representing the Conservative Party, and stood down from parliament in 2019. She identifies herself as a one-nation conservative, and has been associated with both socially liberal and economically liberal policies.
Rudd was born in Marylebone and studied history at the University of Edinburgh School of History, Classics and Archaeology. Rudd worked as an investment banker before being elected to the House of Commons for Hastings and Rye in East Sussex in 2010, defeating incumbent Labour MP Michael Foster. Rudd served in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change from 2015 to 2016 in the Cameron Government, where she worked on renewable energy resources and climate change mitigation. She previously served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Energy and Climate Change from 2014 to 2015.
She was appointed Home Secretary in the May government on 13 July 2016, and given the additional role of Minister for Women and Equalities in January 2018. Rudd was the third female Home Secretary, the fifth woman to hold one of the Great Offices of State and the fastest-rising politician to a Great Office of State since the Second World War (before Rishi Sunak was made the chancellor of the Exchequer in 2020). She resigned as Home Secretary in April 2018 in connection with the Windrush deportation scandal.
On 16 November 2018, Rudd was appointed Work and Pensions Secretary by Prime Minister Theresa May, succeeding Esther McVey. She was re-appointed by Boris Johnson on 24 July 2019 and succeeded Penny Mordaunt in her previous portfolio as Minister for Women and Equalities. On 7 September, Rudd resigned from his cabinet and resigned the Conservative whip in Parliament, to protest against Johnson's policy on Brexit and his decision to expel 21 Tory MPs. She announced on 30 October that she would be standing down as an MP at the next general election.
Hostile Environment Policy
The UK Home Office hostile environment policy is a set of administrative and legislative measures designed to make staying in the United Kingdom as difficult as possible for people without leave to remain, in the hope that they may "voluntarily leave". The Home Office policy was first announced in 2012 under the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. The policy was widely seen as being part of a strategy of reducing UK immigration figures to the levels promised in the 2010 Conservative Party Election Manifesto.
The policy has been cited as one of the harshest immigration policies in the history of the United Kingdom, and has been widely criticised as inhumane, ineffective, and unlawful. The United Nations Human Rights Council has stated that the policy has fostered xenophobia within the UK, while the Equality and Human Rights Commission has found that the policy broke equalities law.
It has notably led to significant issues with the Windrush generation and other Commonwealth citizens being deported after not being able to prove their right to remain in the UK, despite being guaranteed that right. The resulting Windrush scandal led to the resignation of Amber Rudd as Home Secretary, on 29 April 2018, and the appointment of Sajid Javid as her successor.
In 2012, Theresa May, who was the Conservative Home Secretary at the time, introduced the Hostile Environment Policy saying that: "The aim is to create, here in Britain, a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants". In May 2007, Liam Byrne, who was the Labour immigration minister at the time, had referred to a "hostile environment" in an announcement of a consultation document: "We are trying to create a much more hostile environment in this country if you are here illegally".
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