Windrush Compensation Scheme

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:21 pm on 23rd June 2020.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department 2:21 pm, 23rd June 2020

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to speak specifically about the changes required in the Home Office. We have already set that work in train—we did so straight after the publication of Wendy’s review—primarily because the review itself is called the “Windrush Lessons Learned Review”. It was a very humbling moment for the Home Office, in which to reflect on the previous conduct and the approach that the Home Office has taken, even in terms of corresponding to individuals, the way people were treated, and the way in which the Department and representatives have spoken to people, whether face to face or on the telephone. There are many, many stories—too many—of individuals who have been treated appallingly. In fact, when the Prime Minister and I met representatives of the working group yesterday, we heard awful examples of individuals being treated in a really inappropriate way, with the wrong kind of language, and being dismissed and belittled. That is simply not acceptable.

There is a long way to go internally in the Home Office. The review will lead not only to culture changes but to changes in working practices. At a leadership level, I feel very strongly about ensuring that the Home Office is far more diverse and representative of the community that it serves. Sadly, at this particular stage, across all leadership functions, it simply is not. There is a long way to go in terms of making that change, and that is something that I am absolutely determined to make sure happens.