Amber Rudd has resigned as home secretary, saying she “inadvertently misled” MPs over targets for removing illegal immigrants.
The Windrush scandal had heaped pressure on Ms Rudd, who faced renewed criticism after saying she did not know about Home Office removals targets.
Theresa May was “very sorry” to see Ms Rudd go, before appointing Sajid Javid – communities secretary – as the new home secretary.
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said Ms Rudd had “done the right thing”.
Ms Abbott added that the “architect of this crisis” – the prime minister – must come before the Commons to explain “whether she knew that Amber Rudd was misleading Parliament and the public”.
Ms Rudd told MPs the Home Office did not have targets for removing illegal immigrants, but on days later the Guardian published a letter in which Ms Rudd set out her “ambitious but deliverable” aim to deport 10% more illegal immigrants over the “next few years” to Theresa May.
Ms Rudd is the fourth person forced to resign from the cabinet in the last six months – following Sir Michael Fallon, Priti Patel and Damian Green.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling denied the government was in chaos, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today the spate of recent resignations were “unwanted noise” but there were always “up and downs” in politics.
Ms Rudd, telephoned the prime minister on 29 April to tell her of the decision amid intensifying opposition demands for her to quit.
In her resignation letter, Ms Rudd said she took “full responsibility” for the fact she was not aware of “information provided to (her) office which makes mention of targets”.
In response, Mrs May said she believed Ms Rudd had given her evidence to the Commons “in good faith” but that she understood her decision to resign and take “responsibility for inadvertently misleading the home affairs select committee”.
She should “take great pride” in what she achieved at the Home Office, Mrs May added.