MNA International Desk: British Prime Minister Theresa May appointed a former banker of South Asian origin as interior minister on Monday, trying to draw a line under an immigration scandal threatening her authority as she negotiates Brexit.
Sajid Javid, the son of immigrants from Pakistan, replaces Amber Rudd, who quit as Home Secretary after acknowledging she had ‘inadvertently misled’ parliament by denying the government had targets for the number of illegal migrants Britain deports.
British ministers have struggled for two weeks to explain why some descendants of the so-called ‘Windrush generation’, invited to Britain from its former colonies to plug labor shortfalls between 1948 and 1971, were denied basic rights.
But in trying to solve one problem, May risked creating another by changing the balance of views in her top team on plans to leave the European Union. Rudd opposed Brexit but Javid, a lukewarm ‘remainer’, has said that after the referendum, ‘in some ways, we are all Brexiteers now’.
The scandal has weighed on May, who, after winning support for tough responses on Russia and Syria, has lost a close ally and must now try to overcome rifts in her Conservative Party over Brexit, especially on future customs arrangements with the European Union.
Javid, the first lawmaker from Britain’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community to become interior minister, distanced himself in parliament from the ‘hostile environment’ policy on illegal immigration pursued by May when she was home secretary, reported news agency.