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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Sajid Javid named as British home secretary

Cabinet minister is the first senior appointee of Muslim heritage

Sajid Javid has been named as the new UK home secretary. Ben Stansall/ AFP Photo /
Sajid Javid has been named as the new UK home secretary. Ben Stansall/ AFP Photo /

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has named Cabinet minister Sajid Javid as the new home secretary following Amber Rudd's resignation over the Windrush scandal.

The 48-year-old, who was previously housing, communities and local government secretary, is the first senior appointee of Muslim heritage. As Communities minister Mr Javid has been a key voice in the debate over policies on inclusion and rules governing social and religious integration.

Mr Javid, who has said he does not practice any religion, was one of several politicians to receive anti-Muslim hate mail as part of the "Punish A Muslim Day" threats last month.

The Home Office has been buffeted by controversy over its inclusion of Commonwealth migrants in a nationwide sweep against illegal immigrants. Ms Rudd eventually resigned on Sunday evening following growing criticism over her failure to provide clear answeres on targets for the removal of immigrants from the UK and how this affected those whose citizen’s rights could not be proven.

The former home secretary, who was seen as a key Mrs May ally, admitted "inadvertently" misleading the House of Commons by denying the existence of such targets within her own department.

Ms Rudd said she took "full responsibility" for being unaware of the "information provided to (her) office which makes mention of targets" in a resignation letter to the prime minister.

Mrs May said she was "very sorry" to see her leave, while adding that Ms Rudd should "take pride" in what she achieved during her 21-month tenure as home secretary.

Opposition party member and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott described Ms Rudd's resignation as "inevitable".

"The only surprise is that it took so long," she wrote on Twitter. "The architect of this crisis, Theresa May, must now step forward to give a full and honest account of how this inexcusable situation happened on her watch."

Ms Rudd is the fourth senior cabinet minister to resign in less than six months after defence secretary Michael Fallon, international development secretary Priti Patel and first secretary of state Damian Green.

Mr Javid has said his first task as home secretary will be to help the Windrush migrants, Commonwealth citizens who were erroneously labelled as illegal immigrants and threatened with deportation.

"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 all treated with the decency and the fairness that they deserve," he said.

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Read more:

British home secretary resigns over migrant removal target claims

Cabinet minister Sajid Javid is fifth MP to receive "Punish a Muslim" letter

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By appointing Mr Javid, a reluctant Remain supporter in the 2016 EU referendum, Mrs May nominally keeps a Brexit balance within the top tier of her cabinet. His predecessor Ms Rudd had also backed the Remain side. However Mr Javid has recently sided with opponents of a close trading partnership with the EU following the British departure in March next year.

He will be replaced by James Brokenshire at the Housing Department, who had previously served as secretary of state for Northern Ireland before stepping down on health grounds.