Theresa May was asked three times whether she should resign over the Windrush scandal – and there was something very strange about her answers

Today the Manchester Evening News and other local media grilled Theresa May on the Windrush scandal during a whistle-stop election trip to Trafford.

Minutes after appointing a new Home Secretary in the hope of drawing a line under the debacle, she faced questions from journalists over her own responsibility for its victims, some of whom are from the borough.

But asked three times whether she bore personal blame – given that the Home Office’s hardline immigration policy was introduced while she was in charge of the department – not only did she not answer directly, Mrs May gave responses so similar that parts were almost identical… word for word.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to Brooklands Primary School in Sale, Greater Manchester, Mrs May was asked three times if the Windrush scandal was a resignation matter for her or if she should take responsibility for it.

Asked the first time if the scandal was a resignation matter for her, she said: “When I was Home Secretary yes there were targets in terms of removing people from the country who are here illegally.

“If you look at the concerns that people have in the Windrush generation, these people are British, they are here, they are part of us, they have a right to be here.

“What some of them don’t have is documents that show that and this is an issue that I think has come up in individual cases over a number of years, but what the Home Office is now doing is putting a team in place, we’re reaching out and anybody from the Windrush generation who is anxious about this should get in touch with that team.

“They can help them to ensure they have the documents necessary and can get that citizenship that we’ve been clear is available to them and open to them, because they’re British and they are part of us so I want to give them the reassurance that we want to ensure that they are no longer anxious about their future.”

When asked for a second time, Mrs May said: “The Windrush generation are British, they are here, they are part of us and what we have done is, in recognising the concern that has been raised, put a team in place that will be working with people to ensure that they get the documents that are necessary.

“What happened was when people in the Windrush generation came to the UK they weren’t provided with documents that showed their right to be here.

“They have contributed to our society, they have contributed to our country over the years, they helped to build this country, we now want to give them the reassurance that they deserve.”

Asked for a third time if the Windrush scandal was something she should take responsibility for, the Prime Minister said: “The Windrush generation came here, that generation who came here before 1973 have built our country, they are part of us, they are British and what they weren’t given when they came here, prior to 1973, was the documents that show their right to be here.

“What we are now doing is, for those who don’t have those documents, for those who are anxious, the Home Office has set up a team that will work with them to ensure that they have those documents, that they get that reassurance that they will be wanting and we encourage anybody who is anxious about their position to get in touch with that Home Office team because they are there to ensure that they can have the documents that they need.

“The Windrush generation helped to build this country.”

Labour have described Amber Rudd as the Prime Minister’s “human shield”.

Asked about Amber Rudd’s departure, Jeremy Corbyn said: “Amber Rudd has been the human shield for Theresa May and she’s now gone.

“Theresa May now has questions to answer…about what she actually did as Home Secretary and what she said because she was presiding over – in her terms – the creation of a ‘hostile environment’ she’s the one that sent those ad vans around London and other places.

“I think she just needs to reflect a bit more on this. She’s now apologised to the Windrush generation.

“She now needs very rapidly as prime minister to ensure that the compensation is put in place, the recognition is put in place and anyone wrongly deported is allowed to come back at public cost.”

So what do you think?

Tell us in the comments.

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