Theresa May admits mistakes over migrant policies

Theresa May dressed in blue
Former Prime Minister Theresa May is standing down as Maidenhead MP at the next general election [Getty Images]

Former Prime Minister Theresa May has admitted making mistakes over her "hostile environment" policies on illegal immigration.

She said she did not foresee problems they would cause for legal immigrants, including the Windrush generation.

She also said Home Office-sponsored vans in 2013 with "Go home or face arrest" written on them were "wrong".

The MP for Maidenhead, who is leaving Parliament at the election, made the comments during an ITV documentary.

Mrs May's immigration policies, introduced when she was home secretary, caused "serious injustice" for Windrush immigrants who arrived from the Caribbean in the 1950s and 1960s, the equalities watchdog previously found.

Demands to show missing documentation led to many being threatened with deportation, the Equality and Human Rights Commission said.

Mrs May told ITV she took responsibility for Home Office policies while she was home secretary from 2010 to 2016.

Discussing the Windrush scandal, she said: "Should we in the Home Office have had a greater sense of trying to identify whether there were other people, people who were going to get caught up in this way?

"I don't believe that question was ever asked. And that's what lay behind the problems."

Home Office 'go home' van
The former Home Secretary said she put a stop to "wrong" Home Office billboards in 2013 [BBC]

On the Home Office vans, she added: "It was wrong, and we stopped it. We realised after a short period of time that we needed to stop that."

Mrs May also reflected on her 2016-2019 premiership in the documentary.

She repeated a previous admission that she should have met Grenfell Tower survivors sooner after the 2017 fire.

Donald Trump and Theresa May
Donald Trump's "unpredictability" made him a "difficult" US president, Mrs May told ITV [AFP]

She also described Donald Trump as an "unpredictable" president, adding that "unpredictability is difficult to deal with".

Her chief of staff, Gavin Barwell, told ITV the "most disheartening conversation" with the former president was over the 2018 poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, adding: "His initial reaction was, well, why should I do anything?"

The documentary, titled "Theresa May: The Accidental Prime Minister", will be broadcast on 5 June.


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