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Windrush Lessons Learned Review

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:37 am on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department 11:37 am, 19th March 2020

First of all, let me say in response to the right hon. Lady’s point about the publication of the review that this is an independent review. I received a copy of it yesterday from Wendy Williams and I have, through all the due process in the House, laid the review this morning, in a timely way, in the Vote Office, using all the procedural routes that are normal to this House. I know that the right hon. Lady came to my office and picked up a copy, but copies were also available earlier on this morning—we checked that, and as she knows, I also gave her sight of my statement earlier, prior to coming to the Chamber.

I made a commitment to publish the report as soon as possible. It came to me yesterday, and I have done that, primarily because of the nature of the response and the concerns that this House has consistently and rightly raised when it comes to the Windrush generation. That, in my view, was the right thing to do, and I would not have been able to publish the review any earlier, because obviously it came to me from Wendy Williams yesterday. The timing of the report was decided by Wendy Williams, as the independent reviewer. Let me assure the right hon. Lady that I discussed with Wendy Williams yesterday how I will work with her on the recommendations going forward. I will be doing that over the coming months, in the way in which Wendy has asked and alluded to in the report. I will ensure that this issue continues to get the national prominence that it rightly deserves.

I also think, on that point, that this is the time for us all across this House to come together to right the wrongs. I have made it clear in my statement already that not only will I review Wendy’s recommendations on how the Home Office operates as an organisation, looking closely at, yes, the leadership, the culture, the practices and how it needs to put people before process—I cannot emphasise that enough—but I will also look at how we review policies and cultural change going forward. That is absolutely the right thing to do, but I emphasise that, in many of the measures and recommendations, and in the extent of the review—I have no doubt that when the right hon. Lady has the opportunity she will go through the review and read it, as I have—Wendy Williams is very clear that lessons must be learned at all levels, by all political parties. She describes the set of measures that evolved under Labour, coalition and Conservative Governments, and is clear those are lessons that we should all be learning, as politicians and as society, but also as Members of this House.