Amber rudd

How Oxford taught the no-platformers a lesson

Three weeks ago Amber Rudd travelled to Christ Church, Oxford, to speak to students about her experiences of being a female politician. She was there at the invitation of the UNWomen Oxford UK society, which had organised a number of events in the run-up to International Women’s Day on 8 March. But half an hour before she was due to appear, Rudd was told the event had been cancelled. Nothing to do with coronavirus, which had not yet swept the country. Rather, it was because a number of students had protested about the ex-Conservative MP being allowed to speak. Rudd had been no-platformed. The society published an apology on its

Amber Rudd’s treatment is a warning to Tory MPs

Amber Rudd was one of the more high profile ex-Tory MPs, quitting the cabinet and the party whip in protest at the way her colleagues who had rebelled on taking control of the order paper had been treated. It is therefore particularly awkward that her status has become the subject of such controversy. This morning, it seemed the Hastings and Rye MP was headed back into the party fold along with the ten colleagues who were handed the whip back last night. Then she announced she was standing down as an MP but hoped to do so with the whip back in place after a ‘good meeting with the Prime

Amber Rudd: Government should think ‘very carefully’ on deselections

How is the Cabinet responding to the latest Brexit developments? This evening, Boris Johnson will meet with his ministers to discuss the next steps forward – and rumours of an early election are rampant. No. 10’s decision to withdraw the whip and stop from standing at the next election any Tory MP who rebels on Brexit will no doubt come up. Today, I spoke to Amber Rudd about the move in a recording for The Spectator Women with Balls podcast. The full episode will be released on Friday but given the ever-changing nature of politics, Coffee House is publishing her Brexit comments in advance. The Work and Pensions Secretary urged

Can the Gaukeward Squad overcome its inner turmoil?

Usually after a big government reshuffle, the happiest-looking people are the ministers, whether they’ve survived the axe or are celebrating a promotion. But at the end of this week, the most cheerful MPs appear to be the ones who left government, whether of their own volition or after being sacked by Boris Johnson. They’ve been spotted at the cricket and are happily announcing their holiday plans with their family on social media in a way that most politicians shy away from, for fear of appearing to have too much fun. But who is really in the best situation: those in the government, or those now on the outside? In my


‘The term coloured, is an outdated, offensive and revealing choice of words,’ tweeted Diane Abbott last week in response to Amber Rudd having remarked on the radio with regard to verbal abuse: ‘And it’s worst of all if you’re a coloured woman. I know that Diane Abbott gets a huge amount of abuse, and I think that’s something we need to continue to call out.’ Rudd rapidly apologised: ‘Mortified at my clumsy language and sorry to Diane Abbott.’ It is funny to think that if Rudd had said woman of colour she’d have been immune to criticism. But she tripped over a shibboleth. The Oxford English Dictionary abides by strict neutrality

Amber Rudd changes the Tory tune on food banks

What’s behind the rise in demand for food banks? Over the past few years, the default Conservative line has been that the reasons people need emergency help are ‘complex’. This is certainly true: the figures released by the Trussell Trust, which runs the largest network of food banks in the country, show that there is no one factor in food bank use. But those figures also show quite clearly that problems with the payments of benefits, or cuts to benefits, are a major driver: the top four reasons cited for referring someone to a food bank in 2017-18 were low income (28.49 per cent), benefit delays (23.74 per cent), benefit

Did Amber Rudd’s Today interview actually help No. 10?

In her first interview since returning to the cabinet, Amber Rudd has set the cat among the pigeons. Speaking on the Today programme this morning, the new Work and Pensions Secretary appeared to go off script as she talked about the prospect of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. The former Remain campaigner said that Parliament ‘will stop No Deal’ if the deal is voted down as there ‘isn’t a majority in the House of Commons to allow that to take place’. ‘I don’t think we are looking at another referendum. I think what will happen is that people will take a careful look over the abyss and despite what people say the

Amber Rudd admits Universal Credit is in trouble

Amber Rudd left the Home Office over the Windrush scandal and has joined the Work and Pensions department just as its flagship benefits reform is under fire from all angles. The new Secretary of State spent most of her first session at the dispatch box this afternoon answering questions on Universal Credit – and she had arrived determined to strike a rather different tone from her predecessor. Esther McVey, who resigned from the role last week, had garnered a reputation for being rather hardline when dealing with criticisms of the benefit roll-out, while also managing to give far more away about some of its problems than Number 10 would have

Amber Rudd makes swift return to cabinet as May tries to steady nerves

Amber Rudd has returned to cabinet as Work and Pensions Secretary. The former home secretary has been appointed to the brief after Esther McVey resigned on Thursday over the Prime Minister’s proposed Brexit deal. Rudd’s appointment should help to calm nerves and steady the ship as No.10 try and find some calm following Thursday’s turmoil. Rudd is well liked across the party – and when she resigned over the Windrush scandal in April, many of her colleagues – including figures in No.10 – urged her to rethink her decision and stay on. It’s good timing for Rudd’s return as earlier this month an inquiry into the events leading up to her

Notes on a scandal | 3 May 2018

The idea that left vs right has been replaced by open vs closed is one of the most self-serving conceits of contemporary politics. I have never met anyone who wants to live in a closed society, but I have met plenty of people who think that the forms of openness of the past couple of decades have not served their interests. Factories and offices have moved abroad. EU free movement has brought a new workforce to compete with the one already here, and an extra four million people overall have arrived in the past 15 years, while wages have barely grown. Combine that with open public services and an estimated

What’s wrong with deporting illegal immigrants?

Can anyone explain to me why it is wrong for the Home Office to have a target for the removal of illegal immigrants? And would not the ideal target be 100 per cent? Rudd is inept, I think. She probably should have gone – although as ever, the thing which pushed her over the edge was nonsensical. Failing to keep count of how many are coming in and failing to stop them is, of course, the much bigger crime. As is presiding over a magnificent London stabfest between young immigrants and the children of immigrants and doing nothing about it.

Stephen Daisley

The Home Office is Whitehall’s ultimate hostile environment

Theresa May’s tragicomic run of rotten luck continues. Amber Rudd has self-deported to the backbenches and the Prime Minister will have to find a credible replacement at a moment of acute strife. Why anyone would want the job is a mystery to most of us, but then we lack that combination of ambition and self-delusion essential to political life. The Home Office is where potential is thrown on the rack and brutalised, where careers go to die slow, ignominious deaths; it is Whitehall’s ultimate hostile environment. (Ministers disagree and began speculating about a Rudd return with unseemly haste. They may be right but they could at least feign a bout of reflection


Tory MP points the finger of blame at May

When Nick Boles tweeted in January to complain about the ‘timidity and lack of ambition’ in Theresa May’s government, the Conservative MP kickstarted a mini-revolt which saw the party come close to turning on May. So, it doesn’t bode well for May that Boles appears to level some of the blame for Amber Rudd’s departure with one Theresa May. The Conservative MP – and close Michael Gove ally – has taken to social media to share some ‘wise words’ from Julian McCrae of the Institute for Government. And  these wise words are? ‘Make sure Secretary of State has experienced junior ministers supporting her (don’t change immigration minister in Jul 16,

Katy Balls

Who will replace Amber Rudd?

With Amber Rudd gone, talk has turned to who will replace her as Home Secretary. Downing Street has suggested that hacks should be on standby for an announcement later today. However, choosing a successor will be no easy task. The bookies’ favourite is Michael Gove, the government’s resident eco-warrior who currently resides at Defra. However, this seems unlikely for two reasons. Firstly, up until now, May has always worked to preserve the Remain/Leave balance of her Cabinet. It follows that she’d ideally want to replace Rudd with a fellow Remainer. To upset the balance so close to crunch talks on the customs union would be a bold move. Secondly, Gove

With Amber Rudd gone, the Windrush scandal moves closer to Theresa May

Alastair Campbell denies that he ever said that no Cabinet Minister can survive a negative story lasting ten, eleven or 14 days. But even if he didn’t say it, it is not a bad rule and one that Amber Rudd has fallen foul of. Rudd’s resignation is a result of the fact that more and more keeps coming on this story, and she is now faced with admitting that she either deliberately misled parliament or really didn’t know what was going on. She has gone before Monday’s statement in the Commons which would have been an exceptionally difficult moment for her. At some point, there is only so much a senior


Will Amber Rudd now join Anna Soubry in the Brexit awkward squad?

To the disappointment of Conservative MPs and the delight of Labour politicians, Amber Rudd has resigned as Home Secretary – but the best politicians can always clutch victory from the jaws of defeat. Or at least that appears to be what Anna Soubry is trying to do. The arch-Remainer has taken to social media to lament Rudd’s passing – praising her ‘great courage and immense ability’. Soubry goes on to add that she will give her a ‘huge welcome on to our back benches’: V sorry that @AmberRuddHR has resigned. She is a woman of great courage & immense ability. Amber will be missed in many ways. We’ll give her

Fraser Nelson

Amber Rudd has gone. Can the immigration target go next?

It’s hard not to feel a little sympathy for Amber Rudd. She was the lighting rod of the Windrush scandal, having inherited a deeply dysfunctional department from her predecessor, Theresa May. The “hostile environment” policy that led to the shameful Windrush debacle was developed under Mrs May, as was the situation where even senior Home Office officials didn’t know what going on. But as Mrs May herself said in 2004 when calling for the resignation of Labour ministers over an immigration debacle, ignorance is no excuse. Blaming others won’t cut it. Had Rudd handled herself brilliantly during this crisis, she would have survived it – perhaps even enhanced her reputation.

Sunday shows round-up: Brandon Lewis – Rudd did not set targets for deportation

The fallout of the Windrush scandal has continued from the previous week, with Home Secretary Amber Rudd still in the firing line and facing calls to resign. Rudd has been criticised after telling the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday that the Home Office did not set targets for removals of illegal migrants to the UK. However, a memorandum leaked to the Guardian states that the Home Office had actually exceeded a quota of ‘12,800 enforced returns in 2017-18’, which Rudd later apologised for not having been aware of. Conservative party chairman Brandon Lewis, who was the minister responsible for immigration at the time, took to the Andrew Marr Show

New leak suggests Amber Rudd’s grip on the Home Office is even weaker than first thought

When the Windrush scandal broke, it was largely seen as Theresa May’s fault, given the Prime Minister had introduced the hostile environment policy when she was Home Secretary. But this week, the focus has shifted to Amber Rudd, and whether she knew what was going on once she took over the role. This afternoon the Guardian has a leak which suggests Rudd’s grip on her department is even weaker than we’d previously thought. Following a chaotic 24 hours in which the Home Secretary told MPs on the Home Affairs Committee that there were no Home Office targets for immigration removals and then corrected herself in the Commons the following day,

Amber Rudd breeds confusion on Brexit

Amber Rudd has had a torrid few weeks thanks to the Windrush scandal and her department’s failure to get a grip on the issue. Matters weren’t helped on Wednesday when Rudd told the Home Affairs select committee that her department doesn’t ‘have targets for removals’ of illegal immigrants – only to have to today admit that ‘the immigration arm of the Home Office has been using local targets for internal performance management’. Now it looks as though Rudd has risked the wrath of both No 10 and the Brexiteers. Speaking at today’s Press Gallery Lunch, Rudd was asked whether the UK would stay in the customs union after all. Her reply: