On Friday night, the Prime Minister announced the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions after Esther McVey’s shock exit over, of all things, Brexit. Amber Rudd, the MP for Hastings and Rye will take over in the prominent position at the head of the Department for Work and Pensions.
Rudd’s name became synonymous with the Windrush scandal earlier this year, when she resigned as home secretary after claiming that she “inadvertently mislead” MPs over targets for the removal of illegal immigrants in the UK. After claiming she did not know about deportation targets, the Guardian published leaked evidence proving the then-home secretary had known about at least six. Calls were made for her to resign, resulting in Rudd jumping from the position before she was pushed.
Before this, Rudd was David Cameron’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and spent a small time as Minister for Women and Equalities in Theresa May’s cabinet.
Amber Rudd is associated with one-nation conservativism and is linked to the more socially liberal wing of the party. While she’s more socially liberal compared to her predecessor, her voting record on welfare and benefits rings much the same: she’s almost always voted in reducing housing benefits for those deemed to have “excess” bedrooms, has voted against raising welfare benefits in line with prices, has consistently voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for people with illness or disability, and has always voted for the reduction of spending on welfare benefits.
What are your expectations of Rudd as the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions? Do you think she’ll do a better job than Esther McVey, or is this all more of the same? Let us know on Twitter at @Unitemag or on our Facebook page.Get your copy of UNITE Magazine