Government apologises for treatment of 'Windrush generation' of migrants

Henrietta Brewer
April 17, 2018

The Labour MP for Tottenham ripped into Home Secretary Amber Rudd during the heated Commons debate.

In his powerful speech, Lammy said:"The relationship between this country and the West Indies and the Caribbean is inextricable".

The Home Secretary said high commissioners would have an opportunity to raise any such cases with her at their meeting later this week. The exact number of people without official documents is unknown.

"Can she tell the House how many have been detained as prisoners in their own country? How many have lost their jobs?"

Amid growing concern about the government's "hostile environment" strategy to counter illegal immigration, Ms Rudd revealed she was "concerned that the Home Office has become too concerned with policy and strategy, and sometimes lose sight of the individual".

The raging MP blasted: "Let us call it how it is".

"These individuals and their families were born as citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies or as Citizens of the Commonwealth and enjoyed the right to enter and remain in the United Kingdom, just as those born in Britain enjoyed and exercised their right to move to the farthest reaches of the Commonwealth", reads the open letter.

"Will the Secretary of State apologise properly?"

The Labour MP has called for an immediate amnesty for anyone who arrived in the United Kingdom as a child between 1948 and 1971, gathering a petition of over 100,000 signatures - the figure needed to potentially trigger a debate in Parliament.

Penny Mordaunt, the conservative global development secretary, said the Home Office needed to change the way it's dealing with the affected Windrush generation people.

"This should not happen to people who have been longstanding pillars of our community", he said.

"That admiration remains in place". This is about individuals.

Ms Rudd was challenged in the Commons over an interview in which Ms Nokes appeared to confirm that some Windrush migrants had been wrongly deported. "That is why I am so committed to ensuring that there is no cost involved".

The immigrants are named after the Empire Windrush, one of the first ships to bring Caribbean migrants to Britain in 1948, when Commonwealth citizens were invited to fill labour shortages and help rebuild the economy after World War Two.

Many have been told they need evidence including passports to continue working or getting health treatment. Some arrived on their parents' documentation and never formally applied for British citizenship or a passport.

63-year-old mechanic, Albert Thompson, was evicted and asked for £54,000 to pay for radiotherapy cancer treatment.

On 15 April 2018, Nokes previously said in an online statement: 'I know that establishing status after so many years may be hard for some people but we will do everything we can to assist them.

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