In a 2004 exchange which is set to haunt embattled Theresa May, the present home secretary told a Labour minister to resign over an immigration scandal, saying that she was “sick and tired” of ministers blaming other people “when things go wrong”.
The minister in question was Beverley Hughes, and the issue was a scandal over immigrants, erm, being admitted into the UK without background checks! Confronting Hughes on BBC Question Time, May told the minister:
“I do think Beverley should resign as minister on this particular issue and I find it absolutely extraordinary that she’s… blamed officials in her department for this decision to be taken”
The home secretary, who is currently blaming everyone else for a poor grasp on her portfolio, continued:
“I’m sick and tired of government ministers in this Labour government who simply blame other people when things go wrong.”
In a simply uncanny occurence of political deja vu, a number of immigrants were admitted to the UK without background checks in 2004. At the time, Hughes blamed officials in Sheffield for the backlog of applications which led to the blunder. That issue was highlighted by a civil service whistle blower who leaked the waiving of checks.
Beverley Huhges resigned 21 days later.
Time for Theresa May to take her own advice.