CAMPAIGNERS in Portsmouth are demanding the resignation of prime minster Theresa May over the handling of the Windrush scandal.
Protestors are set to his the streets of the city this evening over the fiasco, which saw the Amber Rudd quitting from her role as home secretary last night.
She had faced mounting pressure after being accused of misleading a Commons committee about immigration targets – she said there were none, contrary to letters she wrote to the PM that were uncovered over the weekend.
Members from Portsmouth Stand Up to Racism will be uniting with the city’s Labour group and other campaigners to take to Guildhall Square this evening.
Simon Magorian, organiser of Portsmouth Stand Up to Racism, said Ms Rudd was right to step down and is now calling for Theresa May to follow suit.
He said: ‘Theresa May has to go. She was the architect of this policy. I don’t see how she stay in office. Amber Rudd was Theresa May’s fig leaf.
‘The entire policy now has to be abandoned. It’s an outrage.
‘These are people that this country owes a debt of gratitude to.’
Sajid Javid has been appointed the new home secretary while Theresa May is yet to make a public statement to the media of the situation, which sparked an urgent cabinet reshuffle – the second in a year since the PM’s disastrous snap election bid in 2017.
Ms Rudd told MPs last week the Home Office did not have targets for removing illegal immigrants, but on Sunday the Guardian published a letter in which Ms Rudd set out her ‘ambitious but deliverable’ aim to deport 10 per cent more illegal immigrants over the ‘next few years’ to the PM.
Ms Rudd is the fourth person forced to resign from the cabinet in the last six months - following Sir Michael Fallon, Priti Patel and Damian Green.
Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South MP, said Ms Rudd had been used as a human shield to deflect blame for the immigration targets.
He said: ‘Amber Rudd has done the right thing by resigning, but ultimately it is her predecessor (Theresa May) whose hostile rhetoric and policies have created the conditions for the Windrush scandal.
‘Ms Rudd has unfortunately found herself the fall-guy for a heartless Tory agenda that’s been brewing in the Home Office since long before her time.’
Only weeks ago Ms Rudd had visited Whiteley where she promised to oversea the no-confidence vote of the area’s police and crime commissioner Michael Lane.
In an exclusive interview with The News, the MP said she would ‘keep a close eye’ on the situation.
Her resignation has now cast serious doubts on the state of police, the head of Hampshire Police Federation has claimed.
John Apter, who represents rank and file police officers across the county, said: ‘With years of cuts and continual anti police rhetoric coming from Downing Street policing in the United Kingdom is on its knees, it’s broken.
‘With police officer numbers dropping to levels not seen since the 1970s, policing needs a lifeline more than ever. It needs a home secretary to understand just how bad things have become.
‘With many aspects of crime increasing, knife crime out of control and a murder rate in our capital higher than we’ve ever seen before you would hope anybody who takes up the job would understand this.
‘Sadly, I fear no matter who our next home secretary is things wont change.
‘With an anti police prime minister pulling the strings I have little doubt it will be business as usual for the new home secretary and the continual destruction of British policing will continue.’
Tonight’s protest will take place outside Portsmouth Guildhall, from 5.30pm.