Home Secretary regrets failing to see scope of Windrush scandal sooner

Apr 26, 2018, 00:39
Home Secretary regrets failing to see scope of Windrush scandal sooner

Jeremy Corbyn challenged May to explain why she ignored internal government memos that sounded warnings about potential discrimination caused by "hostile environment" policies, going on to tell May she should resign for her part in the debacle.

Glynn Williams, the director general for border, immigration and citizenship, sitting beside her, said: "There are no published removal targets and there is nothing broken down by region, as far as I know".

The issue "was covered by newspapers, and MPs bringing it forward anecdotally over the past three or four months, and I became aware that there was a potential issue", she told parliament's home affairs committee, according to the Guardian. "I didn't see it as a systemic issue until very recently".

Amber Rudd has spoken of her "bitter regret" at failing to grasp the scale of the Windrush scandal sooner.

But she said: "I bitterly, deeply regret that I didn't see it as more than individual cases that had gone wrong that needed addressing".

May has been at the centre of a barrage of criticism for the Government's policy to cut net migration down to the tens of thousands - an edict to which May was reportedly determined to stick and which numerous Tories criticised her for.

The Prime Minister told the House: "It isn't fair that people who work hard day in and day out who contribute to this country, who put into the life of this country, are seeing people who are here illegally accessing services in the same way".

After uproar from MPs, she said that people "up and down this country" want action taken against illegal immigrants.

Ministers faced a furious backlash over the treatment of the Windrush generation - named after the first ship that brought them to Britain in 1948.

Persons who believe they fall within the category of the Windrush Generation or their children are being asked to use the British Home Office website and helpline to contact Jamaica's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade or to contact the Jamaican High Commission in London to get assistance. However, although many have taken United Kingdom citizenship or have documents to prove their status, some do not.

Ms Rudd apologised last week for the Windrush scandal, blaming the Home Office for "sometimes losing sight of the individual".

It was also announced that financial compensation will be given to members of the Windrush Generation negatively affected by enforcement of the earlier change in immigration policy and that the British knowledge and language tests usually applicable to citizenship applications would not be required.

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