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Expenditure on the Windrush Compensation Scheme

Part of Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:28 pm on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Diane Abbott Diane Abbott Shadow Home Secretary 6:28 pm, 24th March 2020

As I said in Committee, the Opposition support the Bill in principle, but it is unfortunate that we have had to discuss it before we have had a proper debate about the lessons learned review. One thing that that review said was that this was not a mistake: there were problems in the whole culture and leadership of the Home Office. I understand why, given the public health tragedy in which we are engulfed, it has not proved possible at this point to have a serious debate on the lessons learned review, but until we have done that and absorbed some of the lessons that Wendy Williams was at such pains to set out in her review, we cannot have complete confidence that the compensation scheme will, even with all the best intentions of Ministers, go ahead at pace and that people will get what they are entitled to.

Finally, I want to talk about the people in the community who campaigned long and hard on this issue, notably Patrick Vernon, a Hackney resident who is well known to me. All sorts of people in the community understood there was a scandal, even before Amelia Gentleman’s articles, and they continue to campaign. The compensation Bill means nothing unless there is delivery as well as intent.