Windrush: Home Office Investigation

Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons on 11th July 2019.

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Photo of Emma Dent Coad Emma Dent Coad Labour, Kensington

Whether her Department is supporting the Home Office internal investigation into the causes of the Windrush scandal; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

The Home Secretary commissioned a lessons-learned review to consider the key policy and operational decisions that led to members of the Windrush generation becoming entangled in measures designed for illegal immigrants and appointed Wendy Williams as its independent adviser. We understand that Wendy Williams has been considering a great deal of material during the course of the review and has spoken with a wide range of people. We will publish her report following its receipt.

Photo of Emma Dent Coad Emma Dent Coad Labour, Kensington

The Government seem obsessed with pushing through a damaging no-deal Brexit, and Windrush victims feel ignored, as they have to make do with an apology, or perhaps another review, then a report, and then a consultation on the report and the review. Words are cheap; actions count. Can the Minister please explain how the process of compensating Windrush victims is progressing?

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

I am glad that the hon. Lady has asked this question, because it gives me the opportunity to inform her that more than 6,400 people have been granted some form of documentation by the Windrush taskforce and more than 4,200 people have successfully applied to become British nationals through the Windrush scheme. We have announced that the Windrush compensation scheme is open for claimants. The forms, rules and claimant guidance were published in April and the free phone helpline is available for those wishing to receive printed copies of the forms or for any other queries.

Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

The Government said that it would take two weeks to resolve the Windrush cases; it has been over 64 weeks thus far. I have a live petition, which garnered more than 800 signatures a day, which I plan to present to the Prime Minister next week. Will the Minister join me in fighting for justice and fairness for the Windrush generation, and support the call to get all cases resolved before we break for recess?

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

I thank the hon. Lady for her question. As she knows from the work she has done, every case is complex. We want to ensure that they are being thoroughly considered. We will continue to update the Select Committee with work and progress on this, but I reference her back to the fact that more than 6,400 people have been given some form of documentation and more than 4,200 people have successfully applied to become British nationals through the scheme.