[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 April, 2004, 08:38 GMT 09:38 UK
Was Beverley Hughes right to resign?
Beverley Hughes

Tony Blair has said Beverley Hughes acted with integrity in resigning as Immigration minister.

She had been at the centre of claims that immigration applications were approved without the normal checks.

Ms Hughes revealed that she now realised she was warned about problems in the visa application process a year ago.

The Conservatives have accused the government of operating secret policies.

Was Beverley Hughes right to resign? Has the government lost control of immigration?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

Whether or not a minister is 'accountable' for the actions of their departments is missing the point; they are responsible for them. Responsibility is vested in the minister and if their department gets it wrong the minister should resign (this does of course assume that the minister has a sense of honour and a conscience).
Tim Chappell, Gloucester UK

Acted with integrity? That's a classic. I feel my opinion of integrity differs drastically from Tony Blair's.
John Williams, Sheffield, UK

It seems to me that it has become the trend to quit or have your subordinate quit rather than fixing the problems you have created. The opposition should be calling for action not resignations.
Martin Brennan, Scotland

Many people voted Labour because they were fed up being misled by previous governments and thought at last here's a leader to trust. Time and time again it goes to show you can't trust any MP to tell the truth
James, Chelmsford

One wonders what she, as the minister in charge, actually knows
Jeannette, England

Yes, she had to go. What with the Morecambe Bay tragedy and now this. She always pleads ignorance. One wonders what she, as the minister in charge, actually knows. Now that it has been revealed that she was warned about this problem over a year ago, and both Blair and Blunkett claim that she "acted on it", what exactly did she do at the time, and why does the problem still exist? This government is a mess. They are only good at looking the part.
Jeannette, England

Yes she was right to resign. And the sooner the rest of those hypocrites in the cabinet join her, the better.
James Hillis, UK

Yes, she should have resigned. In fact, her insouciance in the face of a veritable invasion of illegal immigrants was little short of treasonable. I only hope that she is kept permanently out of a position where she can do damage to this country, and is not - after an indecent period - allowed back into power like Peter Mandelson.
Brian Clacey, Croydon, UK

She said she had never had knowledge of this. It is proved that she was informed of this. Hence, she lied. She resigned which is good.
Ciaran, London

I don't think she was any worse than the rest, in many ways she was more honest.
Steve, UK

Of course Hughes was right to go. With her total incompetence she had become the BNP's friend. Indeed, it is inconceivable that Blunkett also didn't know that she had both misled the Commons and that she was not up to the job. Blunkett also clearly has to go.
Neil, Stockport

Just a shame she didn't resign as an MP - then it would have been one down, 649 to go. Majority are a bunch of useless clowns with too much self interest.
Adam, Stoke, UK

One wonders what on earth the immigration service has been doing over the past few years
Tony Varney, Thailand

It is too easy for the opposition to call for the heads of ministers. I worry that the British tradition of 'innocent until proven guilty' is being neglected at the expense of political opportunism.
Mark L. Balaam, Cheadle, UK

Yes, she had to go, and so does Blunkett. They know there is fraud in the system, largely to bring in criminal gangs, and it must stop now! Tighten controls, no more economic asylum seekers. Help genuine claimants, deport the rest now!
Brett Trafford, Basingstoke

She is a liar - and that is the crux of the matter. I too have 'an enormous amount of paperwork to attend to' but this is a lame excuse for failing to 'remember' that she actually put in motion an investigation 12 months ago, when originally warned of the problems.

People who lie to the public and Parliament to this extent should be dismissed and not given the opportunity to resign. I am sure she took this action in order to save David Blunkett's own skin as I don't believe he was unaware of the problem. The whole of Great Britain has been aware of the many immigration problems for years!
Margaret Wright, Tarporley, Cheshire

Blunkett should get his own house in order before demanding that we/the public carry ID cards!!
Camilla, UK

If you look around the country, one wonders what on earth the immigration service has been doing over the past few years. If she had to go, so should a lot more. I reckon 50% of the immigrants in the country are illegal. If the Government's figures on are to be believed that is.
Tony Varney, Thailand

Yes they have lost control of immigration. The government should do us all a favour and GO!
Julian Hancock, Devon, UK

I am astounded by the lengths that these people go to hang on their jobs
James Murphy, Dorset, UK

If she was (quote) "proud to have played a part in the Labour Party's achievements", does that mean that the Labour Party's achievements were built on lies? Even at the bitter end, she failed to show any shred of decency - she could have apologised properly, or at least showed signs of remorse. She is typical of so many 'weasel like' ministers.
James , Dorset, UK

Labour hasn't had a good time of late. Between firings, desertions, retirement on various grounds, and resignations there are getting to be less and less people around for Blair to point at when his next policy-disaster comes to light.
Ian, Brit in USA

Is this the same smug and patronising lady that appeared on BBC1's Newsnight earlier in the week? I am astounded by the lengths that these people go to hang on their jobs - have they no shame? I am amazed that our so-called leader stands by these incompetent morons.
James Murphy, Dorset, UK

Yes she should have gone, but unfortunately she is a scapegoat for someone at far, far greater fault - our prime minister. The man will sacrifice anyone to save his own skin, even his friends Alistair Campbell and Peter Mandelson. I hope he reads this column of vociferous comment and realises that the British public have VERY STRONG VIEWS about this issue, which have nothing to do with racism and everything to do with sustainability.
Fiona, Crouch End, London

Yes Beverley was right to resign, albeit belatedly. However the real issue is when is this government going to sort out the mess it has created? We have no border controls whatsoever and this government is trying the patience of the vast majority of the population. The only people who do not want strict border controls are the people who are exploiting them. Failure to do so will be punished in the polls. We have had enough talk, we want action.
Kevin Parker, Kent

There is no future for this country nor the people who reside here - immigrant, asylum seeker or "British Citizen"
Kirsty Davison, Alexandria, Scotland

It is only right for a minister that has either been grossly incompetent, or incorrigibly deceitful, to resign. In Beverly's case she appears to have excelled in both disciplines - and should have been sacked.
Roland, UK

Whether Beverley Hughes was right to resign is of no concern to me. What this scandal does, however, is further emphasise the government's incompetence in running this country. Whilst this week also highlighted that more youths than ever before are resorting to self-harm, is it any wonder when this country now has so very little to offer them?

There is no future for this country nor the people who reside here; immigrant, asylum seeker or "British Citizen". I can't help but lose heart for the majority of decent people in this country who endure the mundane 9 to 5, to pay excessive mortgages, increasing council taxes, increasing public transport charges and deteriorating education, healthcare and public services.

Meanwhile the scroungers of society choose not to work - benefits will take care of that - and have families they can't control - but it got them a house! It makes me sick. How long will Britain continue to bend over?
Kirsty Davison, Alexandria, Scotland

Tony Blair says he will take a "close interest" in immigration from now on. Does that mean he takes a "distant" or "passing" interest normally? This Government is a joke and continues to amaze me with its ineptitude and ability to "get-out-of-jail" with these scandals. It's time we were not so apathetic.
Mark, Manchester

No! She definitely should not have resigned. She has been shown to be dishonest and incompetent and should be where the rest of the dishonest and incompetent politicians are - in government!
Ian, Dunstable

Can we really believe Blair didn't know she was lying to the House?
Al, Slough

She had to go - she lied (evaded the truth) on national TV. She tried to say we would have to wait until a review had been completed before she would comment. Just makes you think what other politicians have been covering up !
Billy, Belfast

It is absolutely disgraceful the way the media and government are portraying the problems in the British immigration system
Sean, Brighton, UK

Yes, but wouldn't it be quicker to call for a general election? That way we can get rid of them all in one big hit.
Gerry Noble, Salisbury, UK

Beverley Hughes was right to resign, and so should David Blunkett. The buck has to stop somewhere - at the top. Ignorance of the law is no defence; this should apply to ministers too.
Ann Watkins, Southampton UK

If any politician knowingly allows rules to be broken or tells parliament or the public things which are untrue, then he or she is unfit for the position of trust and leadership held. As Tony Blair stated, her resignation was the correct action in the circumstance. I only wish other politicians could be seen to come clean when it is clear they have deliberately misled us.
Jon, London, UK

Sir, I do not care if Ms Beverley Hughes misled MP's, what I do care about is that yet again another MP, this time a minister, lied to the British people, the electorate, over issues that were part of her brief. This has happened before and it is likely to happen again. When this happens again the electorate, or at least the constituents, should be allowed to demand the removal of an MP at the earliest possible opportunity.
Kenneth Armitage, Suffolk, England

I am sceptical of the important things ministers say they 'forgot' or 'didn't know about' - it's incredible how the very same people remember every minute detail of the most insignificant things when they are in the right. As for the immigration control issue, ALL statistics can be spun to suit the teller of the story and I think the current set are positive for the government but only because the official figures are so far removed from reality because nobody knows the extent of the problem. However, the catch is that the government cannot stand up and say it is a mess because it will provide a niche for extreme political parties, so we have to make ourselves believe the lie that we are in total control of our borders in order to ward off intolerance.
Bob, Dorset, UK

Of course she should resign, but it is absolutely disgraceful the way the media and government are portraying the problems in the British immigration system as problems with Romanian and Bulgarian people! 99% of those that have come here on work visas have come to work hard and honestly to help their lives and their families and we all benefit from their taxes!

The fact that some bogus claims have been let through due to the failure of the immigration system should not condemn whole nations to ridicule and abuse by the media, Home Office officials and ministers. I am ashamed in front of all my foreign friends that my country is so xenophobic, self-centred and arrogant.
Sean, Brighton, UK

How does Blair know the majority of immigrants make a contribution? I live in Croydon and it seems a lot of immigrants just wander round with no apparent job
Ed Cork, Croydon, Surrey

She had to go, but the tabloid attacks have raised with me fears for my own family. My wife and daughter are "British-Ukrainian" immigrants, and the xenophobic attitudes being pushed by the tabloid press may create a backlash against any considered to not be British.

My daughter has experienced racist taunts at school, and I have been forced to step in with the school to control this. I believe my wife has also not been fairly treated, despite all being legal and correctly processed through the immigration service. If Mr Blunkett is not to go next, the tabloid press must be brought to book over what constitutes racist provocation.
Don Bacon, Chelmsford

Of course she should resign. But how does Tony Blair know that the majority of immigrants make a valuable contribution? I live and work in Croydon and it seems to me that a lot of immigrants just wander round with no apparent job.
Ed Cork, Croydon, Surrey

I believe she should have been sacked. She held a responsible position of trust and integrity and has been found to be flawed. Unfortunately, politicians from all parties have a lot to say on this subject but once in power, it becomes a matter of 'do as I say, not as I do'. Once again the UK public have been let down. Our small island can only accommodate a limited influx of immigrants each year, of which numbers should be fairly allocated between all incoming nations. Our resources can only stretch so far to extend benefits, NHS and accommodation facilities to people who have made no contribution to the state. I did hear a comment on television that we need all the immigrants who will work here as we have not enough people to fill job places. How about getting some of our own many work dodgers off benefits and given compulsory training to get them into work and redress the economic balance? This would also give a break to existing workers who are taxed every way they turn and then have retirement age lengthened to tighten the screw even further!
Carol Mason, Manchester, England

If Beverley Hughes had to resign because she "unwittingly" misled us about immigration, surely Tony Blair should go to as he misled us about Iraq
Nick, London, England

Absolutely, but what is really loathsome about the while affair is that once again the resignation was engineered to save Tony Blair. He's now going to take 'personal charge' of the issue. Strange that earlier this week he was backing Hughes to the hilt and next minute he says that he thought something was wrong. There has never been a slimier PM. Blunkett should stay, Blair should go.
Barry, UK

If Beverley Hughes had to resign because she "unwittingly" misled us about immigration, surely Tony Blair should go to as he (perhaps unwittingly) misled us about Iraq.
Nick, London, England

Yes! If Blair, Brown & Blunkett are ALL so keen to adopt American policies why don't they mirror the American immigration policies as well? Or better yet why not follow the initiative of a Commonwealth country i.e. Canada?
Jock, London, UK

This scandal only strengthens my wish to leave this country and go to New Zealand. Their immigration policies are sensible and correct. If you don't speak good English and can't contribute to their economy, either financially or with required job skills, you don't even get past Customs. Do other countries shun New Zealand and refuse to have trade dealings with them? Not at all. It is about time this Government looked after its own people, instead of kow-towing to the European dictatorship.
Dave, Sheffield, England

Of course she should have gone. In an ideal world she would have been sacked. She lied to Parliament, she lied to the country, her attitude in her resignation speech was incredulous and the attitude of people like Kelly Mouser below is unbelievable given the facts of this sorry mess !
Theron, Telford, England

Yes I agree that Beverley Hughes should have resigned as she was told a year ago about the problem. But the problem on immigration will not go away until puffed up politicians in this country realise that we live on a stupid little overcrowded island and all immigration should be stopped now. By allowing it to continue they are only building up trouble for the future.
Richard Tinto, Falkirk, Scotland

How anyone - regardless of political creed - could be happy for her to continue as a minister is beyond me
Jason, London, UK

She should have been sacked! But that wouldn't have been politically correct.
Philip Le Roux, Hampshire, England

"Has the government lost control of immigration?" No, not really. Their policy is to maximise the flow of immigration, on whatever pretext, and they are being very successful in achieving that objective. There are just some occasions when they go too far in bending or ignoring the rules, and that attracts unwelcome public attention.
Dr D R Cooper, Maidenhead, UK

This is yet another poor example of how to behave when one has made a mistake. The message to the people of this country is quite clear: when you have made a mistake or an error of judgement you must do whatever is in your power to avoid admitting responsibility.
M. Saunders, Ascot, Berkshire

She blatantly lied to parliament and the country. How anyone - regardless of political creed - could be happy for her to continue as a minister is beyond me.
Jason, London, UK

Ms Hughes did mislead parliament and the British people - that's a fact, although it may have been unintentional. She also failed to act on the information she had received despite assurances to her source that she would. Therefore she had to go, but it seems to me the tabloid press are using this as an opportunity to further demonise immigrants in general.

So I'd like to address a few tabloid fallacies about immigration which many people here who should know better seem to believe. First, immigrants and asylum seeker are not synonymous - most immigrants are in fact not asylum seekers. Secondly, all or even most immigrants do not live off the state but in fact contribute as taxpayers.

Thirdly, immigrants are not responsible for all society's ills, crime, the state of the health service, problems with the education system, the Aids crisis. Can anyone think of a major social problem the tabloid press haven't tried to scapegoat immigrants for at one time or another?
Colin Wright, UK

Why pick on Beverley Hughes?
Mick, Chesterfield UK

Why pick on Beverley Hughes? She is only one of a cabinet which gives the appearance of not being able to tackle any of the important issues with the required degree of pragmatism. Too many new initiatives and not enough action.
Mick, Chesterfield UK

Yes she should. Yes it is out of control and it is time all immigration, health etc. costs for asylum seekers were charged to a single account as part of the foreign aid budget where it belongs. Other immigration should be by strict green card as in the USA with immediate unconditional deporting of defaulters.
David Cage, Highworth Wiltshire UK

Beverley Hughes should have been sacked rather than being given the opportunity to resign. There are too many immigrants claiming asylum and overloading the public services this country has to offer. It really is disgusting the laws need tightening up and more money needs to be spent on resolving the issues.
Sarah Pell, Derbyshire

No one has the authority, whether legal or moral, to allow such practice to continue. She was informed a year back and surely with all the problems associated with illegal immigrants, terrorists etc she should have acted upon receiving such information. Maybe everyone higher up knew about it earlier, but this is politics at its best.
Arif Sayed, Dubai, UAE

I offer my thanks to the media for the sterling work they do in exposing politicians such as Hughes
Mike Cook, Eastleigh, England

We know our politicians lie to us. They know we know they lie to us. So when they are shown to be liars they see nothing wrong in it. It is the norm and they would never resign were it not for the media. Today's politician wants power without responsibility. I offer my thanks to the media for the sterling work they do in exposing politicians such as Hughes.
Mike Cook, Eastleigh, England

I think Blunkett should resign it is about time we had a Minister who could see for himself what's going on out there instead of relying on underlings.
Colin, Reading

Yes, and good riddance!! It can now only be a matter of time before we see our beloved Dr John Reid being marched in to clear it all up!!
Andy, Sutton, Surrey

Beverley Hughes' actions have been exemplary from day one. As soon as she realised that she had said something that wasn't true, she quit. Tory ministers always tried to cling on long after they were banged to rights.
Kelly Mouser, UK

Yes, she should have gone few weeks ago instead of misleading us. This Govt. is full of spin and 'sexing up' their replies to questions.
Edgar Lange, Southall, Middx

I am interested to know exactly how many of these applications were made from Romania and Bulgaria. I suspect the number is rather small compared with all applications to the Home Office in one year. Could you give the percentage (of applications) so we can get some idea of the scale of the problem, which seems to have been blown out of all proportion.
Petar Goulev, London

She was probably forced to resign, but at the end of the day, things were covered up (forgotten), so she had to go (despite being cleared by an inquiry) - makes you wonder what else is covered up by these 'inquiries'!
Ken, Herts, UK

Yes she did the right thing in resigning. If she stayed I for one would not trust her like I do not trust Tony Blair. This government has lied. The Tories were kicked out because of lies and sleaze. I think the same will happen to Labour.
Margaret Salsbury, Eastbourne, England

Why all this furore, when these Eastern Bloc countries will be joining EU in May anyway?
Mohan, Southampton

I don't understand why an issue has been created out of thin air? Why all this furore, when these Eastern Bloc countries will be joining EU in May anyway? I think she should not have resigned. This is destructive politics and it won't take us anywhere. People like Geoff Hoon (who are responsible for much bigger disasters) are still there in the cabinet.
Mohan, Southampton, Hants

There was no other alternative - she had to resign in order to protect her boss and in turn his boss who I believe both knew what was going on anyway they have now been rumbled. Roll on the next election.
George, Isle of Wight

At last the Minister has gone after admitting what was clearly known to all in the Immigration Dept. How did she forget that letter? And, the media and the Conservatives have now been proved right. Forget Mr Blunkett's complaint of a witch hunt. Labour did that to the last Major Conservative government, what hypocrites they now are. How many more bogus immigrants have been allowed into the UK without our knowledge? More facts and horrors will yet emerge.
Richard Ord, Gorebridge, Midlothian

What happened to open government?
Mark, Northumberland

She should never have needed to resign. She should have been sacked, not for changing immigration policy, but for lying through her back teeth to try and mislead. Blunkett should go as well; didn't an internal enquiry clear her? What happened to open government?
Mark, Northumberland

It seems slightly unfair to me that Ministers are virtually the only members of the public sector who actually get the boot for poor performance.
LW, London, UK

Yes she was right to resign. She was making the government look even more shoddier than it already is.
Eva Senior, Wolverhampton

Bev Hughes is an excellent MP for the people of Stretford and it is a great shame this has happened. I think she had no choice but to resign and yes she made a terrible mistake but she has done a great deal to help the people of her constituency and hopefully may she continue to do so.
Karen, Stretford, Manchester, UK

How could she not resign?
Lilleth Penhaligan, Surrey

How could she not resign? Whether or not she misled parliament in stating that she was unaware of the visa scam (presumably because she had simply forgotten all about the original memo and her own two replies) is irrelevant. The fact is that Beverley Hughes was made aware of the situation a year ago and failed to take any action at that time. We have had no explanation as to why this was but I suspect that as this was not an asylum issue and did not impact on any asylum targets then it was deemed of little consequence.
Lilleth Penhaligan, Surrey

I reckon that when she saw Tony Blair this morning to say she was resigning she meant it as an April Fool, but he took it seriously!
Mike, Croydon, UK

I do not think she resigned willingly. Basically, she was sacked - told to resign for lying to parliament.
Tony Heath, Godalming, England

This resignation highlights everything that is wrong with politics, people are more concerned with whether or not Beverley Hughes made a misleading comment than about the actual issue that the comments were made over. If people paid more attention to issues and policies rather than individuals and personalities then we could get rid of the spin doctors and have some genuine honesty in politics.
Paul O'Toole, York, UK

The burdens of government are greater today than at any time in our history, and the speed at which news travels, and the constant intrusion of the media means that ministers are exposed to interrogation before a calm and considered response can be made. This means that our government must be both competent and always honest with the public.
Dudley Holley, UK

No she should not have resigned. Although she is clearly responsible for the mess, how are we to get experienced ministers if they must resign every time a mistake is made? We need our ministers, from whatever political party, to gain experience and technical knowledge of the role they are in so the country can benefit from their efforts - kicking them out at the first sign of trouble inevitably means that a great deal of talent ends exiled to the back benches.
David, Bracknell

Yes, she probably was right to resign; the emergence of Bob Ainsworth's letter informing her of the situation made her departure virtually inevitable. However, as per usual, such a ministerial resignation will do nothing to sort out the problems that exist with regards to immigration in this country.
Tristan, London, UK

Here we go again. Not sure why when 'issues' are highlighted we feel the only beneficial course of action is for ministers to resign! This problem has been going on for years and, dare I say, even during the Tory leadership. The UK is still seen as a soft touch and whilst breaches like this occur we will still be seen in this way.
Cimon Eeles-Russell, Exeter, UK

Her department failed us, and so she had to go
Andrew, Hereford, UK
Of course she had to resign. What ever was wrong with the principle of "the buck stops here", and collective, or cabinet responsibility. Her department failed us, and so she had to go. She should have done this a week ago. The trouble is, she's only one among many who should go. Who's going to be next?
Andrew, Hereford, UK

This whole fuss is a storm in a tea-cup. What's the big deal if a few people from eastern Europe get in a few months earlier than they might otherwise have done. To suggest the country is being over-run by migrants is absurd and this is pandering to middle England xenophobia at its worst.
Jack, Radlett, UK

Beverley Hughes was absolutely right to resign. She not only gave inaccurate answers, but it beggars belief that she did so "unwittingly." Congratulations to the newspapers which stuck to their investigations and the whistleblowers who should be reinstated forthwith. More important than any of this is that these abuses stop, illegal immigrants cease simply disappearing, and those refused permission to stay are deported.
Maureen Johnson, London UK

Immigration policy and effective implementation of immigration policy are separate issues. It's been clear to most people for many months now this minister has been failing very badly in the implementation of policy, so on that ground alone she is right to have resigned. So far as immigration policy is concerned the Government needs to should spell out in clear, precise, unambiguous terms what it has in mind for our country on this issue and give the electorate a fair opportunity to decide if that is what they want. It is sensitive because it matters.
Michael Parsons, London

Unfortunately she had no other way to go after finding the most recent document. But hopefully she will back in another position soon. The present Government took over a chaotic immigration situation (amongst a host of other problems in various fields) from the Tories and have managed to sort out a lot of the issues.
Susan, London

Let's not forget the main issue here, what is going to happen to this country's immigration policy? - Ms Hughes resignation is being used as a diversion from the main problem. This immigration issue has run on for too long, harden up Tony.
Dale Wilson, UK

you cannot choose your own referee, and that the referee's decision is final
Shaun, Winchester, UK

I have been brought up to believe that you cannot choose your own referee, and that the referee's decision is final. There is an honourable tradition in British public life that those charged with authority at the top of an organisation should accept responsibility for what happens in that organisation.
Shaun, Winchester, UK

Who cares? It's an empty gesture. Do the government really think her resignation restores their credibility? Er, no!
Neil, UK

In my country (Spain) nobody ever resigns. It doesn't matter how big the mistake has been, resignation it's just not in their vocabulary. In my opinion, Ms Hughes has done the only respectable thing left to do in her situation. If the former Spanish government had acted like her in more occasions, probably they wouldn't have ended up as they did.
Anna, Barcelona

It's about time people in government realised that modern technology make the old saying "You can fool all of the people some of the time ....." even harder to escape. Only all the truth all the time, will do.
Joe Ryan, Chartres, France

Beverley Hughes has been hung out to dry; instead of focusing on which individual the blame can be apportioned to, the government should be examining how internal processes can be changed to prevent issues of such gravity being overlooked in future.
Natalie Fidler, Bracknell, Berkshire

We need a political party, who will be honest, to emerge from somewhere
Jam, Reading, UK

The government have given misleading impressions about many things over the last year or two, why are so many of the people responsible still there if they consider misleading people to be unacceptable? We need a political party who will be honest to emerge from somewhere in time for the next election, and I'm not convinced any of the current bunch can be honest.
Jam, Reading, UK

So we're supposed to believe that Beverly Hughes didn't check her e-mail Inbox prior to her denial in front of the House of Commons yesterday? She has been caught in a lie so of course she should go.
Iain, London, UK

I don't think Beverly Hughes needs to personally stand accountable for the chaos that Britain is in. Immigration is one of many issues that plague the British society and while it is not the biggest of them all, it is impacted by an increasingly 'luxury seeking and not wanting to work for it' culture that symbolises Britain today. As long as Britons complain about wages not being sufficient to afford luxuries, doors will have to remain open to immigrants.
Kinshuk, Newcastle upon Tyne

She was not in control and deserved to go for that reason alone. Also, I say thank goodness for our opposition parties - the free press of the UK - for pressing the matter home.
Stephen, York UK

Another victim of this lynch-mob media mentality
Tony, UK

Once again, another victim of this lynch-mob media mentality. Resignations rarely help anyone, all they cause is chaos.
Tony, UK

Of course she should have resigned. She misled the public. If this is not a resigning matter I don't know what is. Sadly though I don't think it will make a blind bit of difference and I expect the incompetence and chaos that is the Home Office will continue.
David, Leeds, United Kingdom

"Integrity" says Blunkett - she lied is the clear truth. This merely shows once more the poor judgement (or deliberate cover up) of this hideous government. Parliamentary democracy is simply being flushed down the pan.
John, London

Having listened to the news and read the comments here, I gather that Mrs Hughes is a brilliant minister who is good at her job. Is this the new definition of a liar who tried to pull the wool over everyone's' eyes? It seems that her early resignation was done to enable her to return to a ministerial post. Clearly the government needs such talent; had she been a teacher or any one of numerous public servants, she would have been sacked.
Vic, UK

I consider it fitting that she chose to resign on April Fools Day. I hope it is not a practical joke though!
David Clark, London

Has the resignation of Beverley Hughes helped the immigration problem? No. There is a massive issue at hand and changing personnel will achieve nothing. Immigration needs to be tackled in a firm, fair and timely way. A clear and decisive action plan needs to be communicated to the public and some difficult decisions need to be made before the immigration issue turns into a wider societal issue with impact felt with crime, health and public spending. She should have stayed and seen the job through.
Ross, Coventry

Hopefully with this resignation the government are accepting that the immigration system is failing. Let's use this opportunity to make root and branch changes to the system which clearly is not capable of managing 21st century challenges. At the heart of these changes needs to be a review of our treaty obligations which underpin the crazy legal and administrative decisions being made at present.
Ian Eglin, Bradford

As soon as Mr. Blunkett said she has my full support Ms Hughes resignation was inevitable. Let's hope the Prime Minister now makes a statement on the issue in which he declares his full support for Mr Blunkett.
Phil, England

I think it is clear that all ministers of whatever party would have done the same thing. If she is doing a good job and getting on with it she should retain the position. Now we have someone new coming in and they will have to get up to speed very quickly in the spotlight. What has been achieved other than political point scoring?
Anon, Cambridge

This is a management issue and she made a mistake. But well done for taking the blame and being honourable. Others in the Labour and Tory parties should take note.
Ally, Dublin

Yes - but I doubt it will actually help sort out the muddle which seems to have overtaken our immigration system
Isobel, Salisbury, UK
Yes - but I doubt it will actually help sort out the muddle which seems to have overtaken our immigration system. Although it might help if the press got a little more rational about the immigration stories they print, instead of deliberately trying to inflame an already difficult situation.
Isobel, Salisbury, UK

I've said it before. Hughes now has experience in her job, not least of the way things go wrong. If everybody gives up the moment something bad happens we end up with low morale and a workforce that is too frightened and too inexperienced to do anything right.
Jack, Scotland

David Blunkett appears to have totally misjudged the situation and his unquestioned backing of Beverly surely puts his competence at question. He should do the honourable thing and follow her lead.
Bruce, Berkhamsted, Herts

In this 'blame and accountability culture' that we now seem too quick to embrace, I suppose that Beverly Hughes was right to resign. She obviously did not have a handle on her Department. That said, the immigration fiasco that Britain now finds itself embroiled in is so serious that Miss Hughes is not on her own to go. I think that the Home Secretary should too, fall on his sword!
Alistair Ross, Edinburgh

Ms Hughes resignation is a green light to whistle blowers, which is a good thing as it will make this and future governments more answerable to their policies and administration. It was also reassuring to see the Conservatives acting on the information they received and for the first time in a long while acting as an effective and credible opposition.
Vincent Shaw-Morton, UK

No I do not think she should have resigned. We are too much controlled by the tabloid press who are unelected and just need to sell newspapers!
Pamela Woodroffe, Farnham

As the minister responsible for her department, yes, she is right to resign when her department has been caught operating in such a dysfunctional manner. Eighteen months is far too long for an operational problem to have remained either unchallenged or uncorrected. Her middle managers are obviously failing the job and the country; it was Hughes's role to sort them out, she clearly failed. At least her successor knows where to begin cutting the dead wood away whilst making policy painfully clear to every member of staff at every level.
Brennig Jones, Bath, England

Ultimately the department is her responsibility
James, London
I think this is about right, for too long MP's have been happy to point the finger of blame at civil servants in order to protect themselves. She may not have known about the issues directly but ultimately the department is her responsibility and if it's underperforming, or flagrantly disobeying the rules then she must go. Sadly though I don't believe her resignation will improve the situation.
James, London

I am afraid, much as I regret this, that Ms Hughes had no choice. She was ultimately the person accountable, and I am very sorry to see such an able Minister go. However, her position has become untenable, particularly in the light of the Bob Ainsworth letter of 4 March last year. I only hope that this doesn't result in a major reshuffle
Martin B-K, Brighton, UK

As usual I think she has been a scapegoat for the government. The immigration issue is a highly emotive one which I believe is being used as pinball between the various political parties as it often is.
Kevin Webb, Colchester , UK

Yes, she was right to resign. But what took her so long! Why stand up in Parliament and deny it one day and resign the next! No Minister should blame his/her staff, it's just not on.
Geoff Maidment, Gillingham, Kent

Resignation from her ministerial position is not enough in the light of such incompetence. If she had any concept of honour and an understanding of the magnitude of her failure, she would resign as an MP.
Mark Maynard, Fleet, Hants

An apology would have quite sufficient
Graham Rodhouse, Helmond, The Netherlands
Beverley Hughes need not have resigned. She is not to blame for the shambles the system is one, she is a perfectly capable woman who should be invited to stay to help put it right. She made a genuine mistake; she did not commit a deliberate misdemeanour. An apology would have quite sufficient.
Graham Rodhouse, Helmond, The Netherlands

She would have been - quite a lot earlier - but now it just stinks of hypocrisy. David Blunkett ought to go as well!
Phil, London, UK

Ultimately any minister should take responsibility for what happens in his or her department - they get the glory when things go right, they should be held to account when things go wrong. The immigration issue has been a political hot potato ever since the 1960s and I suspect that this has encouraged every government to tell us very little, whether good or bad. This has resulted in the trial-by-tabloid that we are now seeing.
Peter, UK

Unfortunately the right-wing media in this country are obsessed with immigration. I am sure that, in time, Ms Hughes will return to the Government.
Trevor Owen, Edinburgh

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific