The former head of the UK’s civil service, Lord Kerslake, slammed the “hostile immigration environment” created by Prime Minister Theresa May, claiming that a number viewed the policies she was advocating as “almost reminiscent of Nazi Germany.”
Lord Berslake made the comparison on a segment of BBC Newsnight on April 18.
“It was a very contested piece of legislation across government departments, now I can’t say and shouldn’t say, as the former head of the civil service, precisely who gave the advice to who… There were some who saw it as almost reminiscent of Nazi Germany.”
British Environment Secretary Michael Gove said he “respectfully” disagrees with Lord Kerslake’s assessment of the policy.
“I’ve never heard anyone make that comparison before Lord Kerslake. It’s not for me to criticise a distinguished former public servant like Lord Kerslake but I respectfully disagree,” Mr. Gove said, according to the Guardian newspaper.
Mr. Gove made the comments ahead of PM May’s opening address to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting (Chogm) on April 19.
Although in his current post, as environment secretary, he has no involvement in the policy, he is believed to have had some input while he was serving as education secretary.
“Theresa May was determined to transform things. She was proud of wanting to generate a really hostile environment. The Home Office has a culture of enforcement and disbelief which runs deep into the walls, but it is politically led,” Ms Teather said.
“It’s a culture from the top, and it has been a bit rich for the home secretary, Amber Rudd, to blame civil servants. When you’ve had a Conservative home secretary that long, you cannot moan when civil servants deliver those policies.”
Although the Windrush scandal only recently began unfolding, the crisis is a product of a policy which was developed and implemented by the Home Office while now-PM served as the UK’s Home Secretary and oversaw the department.
The issues surrounding the immigration status of several people who arrived in the UK from Caribbean decades ago is ongoing and the extent of the damage to May’s reputation and popularity is currently unclear.
The immigrants who moved from 12 Caribbean nations to the UK prior to 1973 are known as the "Windrush generation." They were invited by the UK government from 1948-1971 to help Britain cope with labor shortages and the damage caused by World War II.