The 54-year-old – one of Theresa May's most senior allies – rang the PM to admit she had misled Parliament after it emerged she was fully aware of deportation targets.
She buckled under mounting pressure after a thorough sweep of Home Office documents over the weekend revealed targets for deporting illegal migrants do exist – despite her telling a Commons committee they didn't.
In her resignation letter to the PM late last night, Ms Rudd insisted: "I take full responsibility".
What we know so far:
- Amber Rudd resigned as Home Secretary last night in a phone call to the PM
- She told Theresa May: "I take full responsibility" after floundering over the Windrush scandal
- It comes after leaked memos revealed deportation targets did exist – despite her claiming otherwise
- Sajid Javid is currently the frontrunner to replace Rudd with Michael Gove behind
- Staunch Remainer Rudd's resignation is a huge blow for May who faces a Brexit headache
She told the PM she “should have been aware” of the targets before writing it had been “a great privilege” to serve in the job.
In her reply, Mrs May said she was “very sorry” to receive her resignation, but she “understands” her reasons.
The move is a massive blow for the PM, who had declared her "full confidence" in Ms Rudd.
It also significantly increases pressure on the Prime Minister herself – with critics accusing her of running "a government of chaos".
A Downing Street source says Ms Rudd's replacement will be announced later today.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid is the bookies' 3/1 favourite. Leading Brexiteer and Environment Secretary Michael Gove is also being touted as one of the front runners.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley are also in the running.
Today’s Commons grilling was due to be the fourth time Ms Rudd would have been hauled in front MPs, having already apologised twice for the Windrush scandal following her initial statement.
The pressure on the embattled MP to stand down increased after she said the government didn't have targets for deporting people, only for a memo to emerge mentioning specific targets.
Ms Rudd referred to the enforced removals hike as an “aim”, which she dubbed “ambitious but deliverable”.
No10 said she still insists she was unaware of the targets, but now accepts she inadvertently told an untruth to MPs and must take responsibility for that.
A BREAKDOWN OF THE WINDRUSH SCANDAL
Downing Street turns down a plea from Commonwealth leaders to discuss the immigration problems of the Windrush generation.
Theresa May later agrees to a meeting and Amber Rudd apologises for the “appalling” way people had been treated.
It emerges that thousands of disembarkation cards dating back to the 1950s were destroyed in 2010 when Mrs May was home secretary.
Labour leaders call for Amber Rudd to resign. Mrs May tells Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs that the decision to destroy the cards took place in 2009 under the former Labour government.
Albert Thompson, 63, who was denied free cancer treatment because of his immigration status, speaks out after hearing Mrs May announce he would be “receiving the treatment he needs”.
The Sunday Times claims Mrs May knew about problems experienced by Windrush generation Britons four years ago.
Rudd makes an apology to Parliament and says the Home Office had “lost sight of individuals” and become “too concerned with policy”.
In a statement to the Commons, Rudd vows to change the culture of the Home Office.
Rudd again apologises for failing to grasp the scale of the problem.
But she also tells the home affairs select committee there are no targets for enforced removals of illegal immigrants.
The Home Secretary is forced into a humiliating climb-down and admits officials did have targets for removals, but she did not know about them.
Taking to Twitter, Rudd makes a late night apology for not being aware of documents, leaked to the Guardian, which set out immigration removal targets.
She says: “I wasn’t aware of specific removal targets. I accept I should have been and I’m sorry that I wasn’t.
"I didn’t see the leaked document, although it was copied to my office as many documents are.”
A letter from Amber Rudd to Theresa May in which she mentions increasing the number of enforced removals by more than 10% over the next few years” is published by Guardian. Rudd resigns just before 10pm.
Tory MPs rallied behind Ms Rudd last night, commending her work as Home Secretary, while Labour accused No10 of using Ms Rudd as a protective shield.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: "Really sad to lose Amber Rudd from Cabinet.
"A fine colleague who did a great job during last year's terrorist attacks and cares deeply about the people she serves.
Michael Gove said: "I'm so sad about Amber's departure from government – she was a huge asset – brave, principled, thoughtful, humane, considerate and always thinking of the impact of policy on the vulnerable – I hope Amber will be back soon – we need her."
Sajid Javid tweeted: "Very sad that Amber is leaving Government. A huge talent that will no doubt be back in Cabinet soon, helping to strengthen our great nation."
Ms Rudd's brother Roland Rudd wrote on Twitter: "So proud of my sister Amber.
"She is so unselfish, compassionate, kind, trustworthy [with such] immense integrity.
"She is motivated by strong sense of public duty and when dust settles will be remembered for being a great Home Secretary in hugely difficult circumstances."