Until recent weeks, Amber Rudd was seen as one of the rising stars of the Tory party and a potential future Prime Minister.
She first became an Member of Parliament in 2010 and enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks to become only the third woman to hold the office of Home Secretary in 2016.
Following in the footsteps of Theresa May, her promotion to one of the top jobs in government was seen as an indicator she could one day lead the Conservative Party.
But like many Home Secretaries before, the office has proven to be a poisoned chalice.
Rudd, 53, has become engulfed in a series of scandals, many of which date to her predecessor Mrs May, but she has been forced to shield her boss the Prime Minister.
When it emerged Rudd’s department had deported dozens of Caribbean immigrants, known as the Windrush generation, “in error” it was the final straw.
Now Rudd has paid the ultimate price for the incompetence of the Tory government.
Who is Amber Rudd?
Born in London in 1963, Rudd is the fourth child of stockbroker Tony Rudd and magistrate Ethne Fitzgerald, a prominent political family.
She went to Cheltenham Ladies’ College and Queen’s College in London before reading History at Edinburgh University.
Rudd joined the investment bank J.P.Morgan, working in London and New York, before working in venture capital and financial journalism.
She married the writer A.A. Gill and the couple had two children together in the 1990s but later divorced.
Gill, who died in 2016, referred to Rudd as ‘the Silver Spoon’ in his reviews.
It wasn’t until she was in her 40s that Rudd decided to pursue a career in politics.
She first stood as a Conservative for the Liverpool Garston seat in 2005 but failed to win the seat.
Rudd was then selected as the Tory candidate for Hastings and Rye in East Sussex and was elected in 2010.
Home Secretary 2016-18
Rudd was said to be surprised when Theresa May gave her the job as Home Secretary just six years after she became an MP.
It was the fastest rise to one of the Great Offices of State since the Second World War.
Like Theresa May, Rudd was pro-Remain in the Brexit campaign and very much followed in the Prime Minister’s footsteps in office, taking a hard line on immigration and security.
According to the Financial Times, she told friends being Home Secretary made her “more rightwing” because she was privy to security briefings on plots to attack Britain.
Rudd first sparked controversy at the Tory party conference in 2016 by suggesting British companies should be forced to publish how many foreign workers they employ.
Business reacted with horror, calling the policy divisive and it was quickly dropped.
Rudd also ruled out calls for Britain to make it easier for Australians to come and live and work here after Brexit.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop had called for change at a joint press conference.
But Rudd said “there are no plans to increase immigration from Australia… so I wouldn’t envisage any change.”
Rudd also decided not to open an inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave, the infamous showdown between police and striking miners in South Yorkshire in 1984 claiming there could be no lessons for police to learn.
Angry Labour MPs shouted “disgrace” and she announced the decision in Parliament.
In August last year, Rudd fell victim to an email hoaxer who also targeted Donald Trump’s inner circle and the Bank of England.
Posing as a senior Downing street aide, the hoaxer was able to have a conversation with Rudd who replied from her private email address.
Rudd also came under fire for the unlawful detention of asylum seekers after it emerged a man who survived torture in Libya had not been released despite repeated court orders.
The case of Samim Bigzad also sparked uproar.
Rudd was found to be in contempt of court for deporting Bigzad and failing to return him to the UK despite the ongoing threat to his life from the Taliban.
The eruption of the Windrush scandal, as it has become known, sparked a fierce national debate over immigration and the status of those who arrived from the Caribbean before 1973.
The government issued an apology over its treatment of the ‘Windrush generation’, who are being ordered to prove they have the right to stay in Britain – even though they have been here over 50 years.
Anyone who arrived in the UK from a Commonwealth country before 1973 has a legal right to stay in this country, unless they left the UK for more than two years.
But new immigration rules, that came into force when now-PM Theresa May was Home Secretary, require employers, landlords and the NHS to demand evidence of legal immigration status.
Back in 2012, Mrs May said the measures were designed to create a “hostile environment” for people who were in the UK illegally.
But caught up in the bureaucratic nightmare that may have led to some Caribbean immigrants being deported “in error”.
Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes admitted that some Windrush migrants may have been deported back to the Caribbean, telling Channel 4 News: “Potentially they have been.
“And I’m very conscious that it’s very much in error and that’s an error I want to put right.”
As Home Secretary, Amber Rudd soon faced calls to quit after apologising for the “appalling” treatment of the migrants.
Theresa May accepted the Cabinet Minister’s resignation following two weeks of revelations over how the top Tory had lost control of the Home Office.
Ms Rudd claimed not to have known about immigration removal targets but today a memo was leaked suggesting she was informed by officials.
Ms Rudd was thought to be preparing to tough it out, insisting she genuinely did not know about the targets when she gave evidence to the Commons Home Affairs Committee last week.
However having seen mounting evidence in the paperwork about the extent of the knowledge within the Home Office about the targets she decided that she should take responsibility and go.
On Sunday afternoon, it emerged that Rudd sent a four-page letter to Theresa May boasting of setting an “ambitious but deliverable” target for kicking out illegal immigrants in January 2017.
Yet Ms Rudd flatly denied removals targets existed when she appeared before MPs last week.
On Sunday, Ms Rudd telephoned Theresa May to tell her of the decision amid intensifying opposition demands for her to quit.
A No 10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister has tonight accepted the resignation of the Home Secretary.”
Her decision to stand down will come as a major blow to Mrs May who publicly declared her “full confidence” in her as recently as Friday.