When politicians appear before the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee we have to wonder whether it wouldn’t be more efficient to connect them to a polygraph machine. The demise of Amber Rudd, our erstwhile Home Secretary, is a perfect example of how the answer to one question can end a promising future.

Amber Rudd denies targets for deportation

Last Wednesday Ms Rudd was asked by Yvette Cooper, the MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford when targets for the removal of illegal immigrants had been set.  Her answer was unequivocally that the Home Office didn’t have targets for removals. Evidence heard by the Committee prior to the interview with Ms Rudd suggested otherwise. Watch the how the trap unfolded below:

Within 24 hours of denying that targets had been set Amber Rudd addressed the House of Commons amid calls from the opposition to resign.  It was clear that other evidence provided to the Committee contradicted hers.

Her address can be seen below:

Guardian leaked documents

2 days after Ms Rudd’s address in the House of Commons the Guardian newspaper leaked a memo that had been sent to her a year ago. Extracts from it read

  • “target of achieving 12,800 enforced returns in 2017-18″
  • “path towards the 10% increased performance on enforced returns, which we promised the home secretary earlier this year”

Following the leak the Home Secretary denied having seen them memo. But a further leak from the Guardian on Sunday revealed a letter that Amber Rudd had sent to the Prime Minister in January 2017. She stated in the letter that her intention was to increase deportations by 10 percent.

Why resignation was necessary

In the mainstream and social media many have argued that Ms Rudd was only carrying out the policy of the Conservative government. David Cameron when he was Prime Minister said that he would bring immigration down to tens of thousands. There has been no amendment that we are aware of to that policy.

However, the reason Amber Rudd had to resign was simply because she lied.  Had it not been for the leaked documents, we might conclude that she was merely incompetent.

It is hardly surprising that lie detector tests are commonplace within the recruitment process of corporations, especially those dealing in security matters.  Perhaps less time and money would be spent on investigations and committee meetings if they were applied in government.