Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:07 pm on 2nd May 2018.

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Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood 4:07 pm, 2nd May 2018

I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this incredibly important debate. A lot has been said today and over the past week or so about this scandal, but I still feel that there are not words strong enough to describe how awful, appalling, heartbreaking and profoundly un-British this whole scandal has been. I associate myself with all the remarks made by my right hon. Friend the shadow Home Secretary in her opening speech. I also congratulate my right hon. Friend Yvette Cooper, the chair of the Home Affairs Committee, and, in particular, my right hon. Friend Mr Lammy on the tremendous work they have done on bringing this issue to light.

This is a horrendous, horrible moment, not just for the Windrush generation and their children but for all of us in our collective national life, and it will have an enduring legacy. If we choose, and if the Government listen, it could be a positive legacy that helps us move forward in a way that is in the best of our British traditions of fairness, decency and a desire to do the right thing. In that context, I say to Home Office Ministers that they should take heed of our motion and simply release the paperwork. If there is an issue as to how extensive the wording of the motion is, they should work with either the shadow Front-Bench team or the Chair of the Home Affairs Committee to come to a wording that is acceptable and to bring forward the disinfectant that is sunlight.