Windrush Lessons Learned Review

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:57 pm on 21st July 2020.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department 1:57 pm, 21st July 2020

The hon. and learned Lady raises some very important points, quite frankly, about how the Home Office not just undertakes reviews but picks up on recommendations and enacts recommendations around reviews themselves.

It is fair to say that Wendy Williams’s “Windrush Lessons Learned Review” is a review like no other. Thankfully, it is a one-off review of an absolutely shocking scandal that took place. As I said in my statement, it identifies and marks a stain on the history of our country, but it also scars my Department significantly. As a result, the measures that I have outlined today—just the five steps alone, which are very focused on the Home Office itself, including encompassing policy aspects—are very detailed. They are detailed for a reason. They are not a tick-box response, and they are not a “quick, let’s fix this and pay lip service” response either. A great deal of work is required. This speaks to the hon. and learned Lady’s third point, about reviewing the compliant environment and the work that will need to be undertaken there, which will take time. Obviously, I will report back, and as a Department we will report back, on exactly how policies are effected specifically on that.

It is fair to say that my commitment on this issue, and more fundamentally with regard to the Home Office, is absolutely solid and firm. I have seen all sorts of practices, I have experienced all sorts of practices in the Home Office, and I have been on the receiving end of certain practices in the Home Office as well, which quite frankly speak to some of the points that came out of Wendy Williams’s review. Therefore, our commitment is solid, and it is firm.

The hon. and learned Lady also asks about engagement with the devolved Administrations. She should take that as a given. There is always more work that needs to be done on that front, and that is something that I am committed to doing.