Prime Minister Theresa May thanked Amber Rudd for her “valuable work” as the former home secretary appeared in the Commons for the first time since her resignation over the Windrush scandal.
Ms Rudd received prolonged cheers from Tory MPs as she rose from the backbenches to speak during Prime Minister’s Questions.
The former Cabinet minister praised her successor, Sajid Javid, and paid tribute to the emergency services.
Ms Rudd, who was seated between James Gray and Bob Blackman, said: “Could I take the opportunity to congratulate (Sajid Javid) on his appointment to the Home Office – such an important department not only in terms of security but also in terms of ensuring we have a safe immigration policy.
“Could I add that the UK threat level remains at severe; last year we had five terrorist attacks that got through and 36 innocent people that were killed.
“Could I invite the Prime Minister to share with me our admiration for the extraordinary work and bravery that is done by counter-terrorism police and our emergency services and our security services, which I know we are all grateful for.”
Mrs May responded: “Can I first of all say to her that I’m pleased to be able to have this opportunity to pay tribute to her and the work that she did as home secretary.
“She did valuable work across all elements of the Home Office, including issues like modern slavery and domestic violence.
“The work she did with the internet companies in terms of keeping people safe on the internet was ground-breaking.”
She added: “Can I also share with her the support and admiration for the work that all in our emergency services, in our police, in our counter-terrorism police and in our security and intelligence agencies, do to keep us safe.
“I also commend her for the work that she did following the terrorist attacks last year, to set in train action to ensure that we continue to make sure that those services get the support they need to be able to continue to keep us safe.”
Ms Rudd is the fourth person forced to resign from the Cabinet in the last six months, following Sir Michael Fallon, Priti Patel and Damian Green.
In her resignation letter, Ms Rudd said she “inadvertently misled” MPs over targets for removing illegal immigrants.
She said she took “full responsibility” for the fact that she was not aware of “information provided to (her) office which makes mention of targets”.
In response, Mrs May said she believed Ms Rudd had given her evidence to the Commons “in good faith” but that she understood her decision to resign and take “responsibility for inadvertently misleading the Home Affairs Select Committee”.