Theresa May has found a replacement to run the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Just seven months after resigning from the Home Office for misleading parliament, Amber Rudd is back in the cabinet. Although given former DWP boss Esther McVey’s record of misleading and “lying” to parliament, she should feel right at home.
A slap in the face to the Windrush generation
Rudd finally resigned over misleading parliament over deportation targets and under pressure due to her poor handling of the Windrush scandal. Criticising her new appointment, Labour MP David Lammy said her actions over Windrush were “inexcusable”:
Rudd made inexcusable errors over Windrush. It is wrong that she has been given a new job before any victims have had compensation. She will be the sixth DWP secretary since March 2016. This is a poisoned chalice in a government that is unlikely to survive until Christmas. https://t.co/XrlGaB0hCS
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) November 16, 2018
Others pointed out that the people whose lives Rudd ruined are only worth 200 days to May:
200 days. That's how long as those ruined Windrush Lives were worth to this Tory Government. Theresa May has just appointed Amber Rudd back to her Cabinet.
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) November 16, 2018
Amber Rudd was only out of Theresa May's cabinet for 7 months following the role she played in the Windrush scandal. Many of those affected lost everything.
Her appointment as Department for Work and Pensions secretary today is shameful.https://t.co/4GsHnkENVS
— Momentum (@PeoplesMomentum) November 16, 2018
200 days later, people are still being deported and the current home secretary still has no idea how badly people are affected. People’s lives are ruined. But Rudd is back in the cabinet. As Labour Whips tweeted:
Extraordinary that Theresa May has managed to bring Amber Rudd back into Cabinet faster than the Home Office have even been able to accurately give a final no. of, & make contact with, all those British citizens wrongly deported because of the Windrush scandal #BurningInjustices
— Labour Whips (@labourwhips) November 16, 2018
Not fit for office
Independent journalist Shehab Khan highlighted that the fact she resigned for misleading parliament meant “she was deemed to be unfit to hold ministerial office”:
Amber Rudd resigned as home secretary, because she misled MPs. It meant she was deemed to be unfit to hold ministerial office.
Half a year later and she's now Work an Pensions Sec….
— Shehab Khan (@ShehabKhan) November 16, 2018
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, meanwhile, tweeted:
Amber Rudd resigned because of her mismanagement of #Windrush scandal. Now Theresa May puts her in the DWP. Let's hope she shows more concern for the victims of this department's unfairness and cruelty than she did at the Home Office. #UniversalCredit https://t.co/KRPJ6coY3w
— Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) November 16, 2018
And others expressed anger, labelling the move “callous”:
I’m so angry right now. How is this allowed?! The woman lied and broke ministerial code just a few months ago.
Amber Rudd to replace Esther McVey at DWP – Politics live https://t.co/YZ9mTy5nrT
— Faiza Shaheen (@faizashaheen) November 16, 2018
Amber Rudd back in the cabinet within months while thousands of her #windrush victims continue to suffer — as we speak — the indignities and cruelties she inflicted on them as Home Secretary. An astonishingly callous move, and an unforgivable insult to so many.
— Hicham Yezza (@HichamYezza) November 16, 2018
“Punitive, mean-spirited and often callous”
Rudd took over the DWP on the day the UN condemned the UK for treating vulnerable and poor people in a “punitive, mean-spirited and often callous” manner with “highly regressive” changes to benefits since 2010.
Unfortunately, from Rudd’s voting record and her previous comments about those on benefits, it doesn’t look very promising for those enduring the impact of Universal Credit and other benefit changes:
“People who are on benefits and want to be by the seaside move to Hastings to have easier access to friends, drugs and drink.” Amber Rudd, new minister for DWP
— Mr Ethical (@nw_nicholas) November 16, 2018
The appointment of Amber Rudd as Work and Pensions Secretary is not only worrying due to her connection to Windrush.
Her voting record on welfare is abysmal.
Voted to scrap the Disability Premium
Voted for the Bedroom Tax
Voted to freeze benefits
We will be watching closely
— Disability Labour (@DisabilityLab) November 16, 2018
And others pointed out that she’ll likely continue with her government’s theme of creating a “hostile environment”:
As Home Secretary, Amber Rudd helped create the #HostileEnvironment that led to people from the Windrush Generation being deported
— The Pileus (@thepileus) November 16, 2018
Just months ago, Theresa May apologised to the Windrush generation. These were clearly empty words.
Appointing Rudd to the DWP is “callous”, sickening, and utterly insulting.
Enough is enough. We cannot take any more of this government ruining the lives of millions of people.
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