Thank you to all those who have contacted me about the Windrush generation.

Between 1948 and 1971, thousands of Commonwealth workers travelled to the UK and contributed to our post-war economy. These workers played a pivotal role in rebuilding Britain, and I believe that we owe them all a debt of honour and gratitude. But, instead of being thanked, this generation – who contributed so much to British society – has been badly mistreated.

Although they were granted settled status in 1973, many people from the Windrush generation do not have documentary proof of their status. As such, they have struggled to access employment, public services and have been targeted for removal. It is expected that over 80 people have been wrongly deported, and I believe that the Windrush generation has been appallingly victimised by recent immigration policies.

In response to this scandal, the Government established a Compensation Scheme. It initially expected to receive 15,000 eligible claims, with total compensation costing between £120 to £310 million. Media reports suggest that, over four years since its launch, around 1,600 people have been awarded compensation. It is increasingly clear that this poorly administered scheme has let down the Windrush generation. I recently raised this with the Government in the House of Commons, and you can see my exchange here.

In 2020, an independent review made 30 recommendations. Despite having initially accepted these recommendations, the Government announced in January 2023 that it would not be implementing 3 of these recommendations. This was an opportunity to put the apology to the Windrush generation into action, and I am very deeply disappointed by this decision.

I am aware of the open letter by Justice4Windrush that highlights the closure of the Windrush Working Group and the ‘transformation team’. The team was established to reform the culture of the Home Office, which nows argues that “significant progress” means the team will be embedded into everyday operations and activities.

I believe that the treatment that the Windrush generation has faced is one of the most shameful episodes in our post-war political history. We must learn the lessons from this appalling scandal.

HMT Empire Windrush
HMT Empire Windrush
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