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Leaked memo 'suggests Rudd was told of targets'

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A leaked memo suggests Amber Rudd was told of immigration removal targets, despite her insistence she knew nothing about them.The home secretary had initially told MPs there were no targets - before admitting "local" targets had been set.She then said she "was not aware of them" and had "never agreed that there should be specific removal targets".But the Guardian reported a June 2017 memo from an official, copied to Ms Rudd, did refer to targets.
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The newspaper reports that the six-page memo, from Immigration Enforcement Agency boss Hugh Ind, states: "IE has set a target of achieving 12,800 enforced returns in 2017-18, aided by the redistribution of resources towards this area. "This will move us along the path towards the 10% increased performance on enforced returns, which we promised the home secretary earlier this year."It adds: "We have exceeded our target of assisted returns. We set an internal target of 1,250 of these returns for 2016-17 … we delivered 1,581."
Leaked memo 'suggests Rudd was told of targets'

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Appearing before a select committee, Home Secretary Amber Rudd denies there are targets
The Guardian says the memo was copied to Ms Rudd, then-immigration minister Brandon Lewis, as well as some civil servants and advisers.On Friday, Rob Whiteman, who was chief executive of the UK Border Agency from 2011 to 2013, told the BBC all public services operated on targets and "of course" ministers would be aware of them.
'Disingenuous'
He said: "Fair's fair, ministers could say we don't actually set these targets, they are being set by the operations but I think it is disingenuous, surely, to suggest that they don't know that they exist because they will have seen them in performance reports and other internal documents." Ms Rudd has been under pressure over the issue of targets this week, having initially told the home affairs select committee on Wednesday: "We don't have targets for removals."But an inspection report from December 2015 emerged, showing targets for the voluntary departures of people regarded as having no right to stay in the UK existed at that time.On Thursday, Ms Rudd told MPs: "I have never agreed that there should be specific removal targets and I would never support a policy that puts targets ahead of people.
A 2015 report from the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration details an annual target of 12,000 voluntary departures for 2015/16
"The immigration arm of the Home Office has been using local targets for internal performance management."These were not published targets against which performance was assessed, but if they were used inappropriately then I am clear that this will have to change."On the issue of targets, she added: "Unfortunately, I was not aware of them, and I want to be aware of them, which is why I am now putting in place different measures to ensure that that happens."
'Accept responsibility'
The home secretary has faced calls to quit following her admission that the targets did exist and, according to union officials, are prominently displayed on posters at regional immigration centres.Labour's shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: "Amber Rudd either failed to read this memo and has no clear understanding of the policies in her own department, or she has misled Parliament and the British people."Either way, she needs to accept responsibility and resign immediately."The SNP and the Green Party have also called for Ms Rudd's resignation. But Conservative backbenchers, including Sir Nicholas Soames and Philip Davies, rallied behind Ms Rudd on Thursday, with Mr Davies saying most members of the public backed tougher action against illegal immigration.The Windrush row erupted after it emerged migrants from Commonwealth Caribbean countries and their relatives who settled in the UK from the late 1940s to the 1970s had been declared illegal immigrants, if they could not provide a range of documentation that proved they had lived in the UK continuously.Some of the Windrush generation have been threatened with deportation, lost their jobs or been refused access to medical treatment.
Amber Rudd
Windrush deportation row
UK immigration
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