Theresa May vowed a ‘transparent’ review into the Windrush scandal today as Labour launched a bid to force the government to reveal internal Home Office memos.
The Prime Minister said the probe would be independently overseen and completed before parliament rises for its summer recess.
But the government is facing a major showdown in the House of Commons as Labour uses a procedural tactic to try and obtain a mass of potentially embarrassing material from Whitehall.
In angry clashes at PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn asked whether Mrs May felt the ‘slightest pang of guilt’ that Amber Rudd had been forced to quit over failings on her watch.
Mrs May replied that ‘speed is of the essence’ and the new Home Secretary Sajid Javid ‘will be commissioning a full review of lessons learned, independent oversight and external challenge with the intention of reporting back to this House before we rise for the summer’.
The review will have ‘full access to all relevant information in the Home Office, including policy papers and casework decisions,’ she said.
Mrs May said: ‘I was Home Secretary when some of these decisions were taken and mistakes were made about individual cases and I’ve apologised for that.
‘The former Home Secretary also apologised for that.’
She said decisions on the issue ‘have been taken under successive Home Secretaries, including under the last Labour Government’.
Labour is bringing an opposition day motion to try to obtain all papers, correspondence and advice on the issue since 2010.
The party is deploying an Humble Address, the same mechanism it used to obtain 58 Government Brexit impact documents.
The government is expected to whip MPs to vote against the Labour move – paving the way for a decisive clash.
Immigration Enforcement, an agency of the Home Office, is responsible for tracking down illegal migrants, including those who have sneaked into Britain in the backs of lorries, arrived on visas but never went home and failed asylum seekers who have avoided deportation.
But it has emerged that Windrush citizens, who arrived in the UK from the Commonwealth between the 1940s and 1970s, were wrongly being threatened with removal, even though they had the legal right to stay.
It came as Labour said it will today try to force the Government to provide internal correspondence on the Windrush scandal.