Scheduled Mass Deportation: Jamaica

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:33 pm on 30th November 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 3:33 pm, 30th November 2020

The hon. Lady, the shadow Minister, asks about the Windrush scheme. As she will be aware, over 6,300 people have now been given citizenship, quite rightly, and 13,300 documents have been issued to those people who suffered terrible wrongs in the past. In terms of compensation, 226 people have now received claims totalling in excess of £2.1 million, with a great deal more to pay out. I can also confirm that all of these cases on the plane have been individually assessed, and none of them is eligible for the Windrush compensation scheme.

The hon. Lady spent a great deal of time talking about Windrush during her question, but I say again—as I said in my letter to her—that it is completely wrong to conflate the people who were the victims of terrible injustice in the Windrush cases with these cases, who are nothing to do with Windrush, have no Windrush entitlement at all, and have committed terrible criminal offences. She also asks about the age eligibility. The Government are fully committed to discharging their obligation under the 2007 Act, which is to seek to remove anyone of any age who has been sentenced to a custodial term of over 12 months. That has been, is, and will remain our policy.

I am not going to comment on the individual operational circumstances surrounding any particular flight, but we are fully committed to the 2007 Act’s provisions. In relation to children, there is a well defined test around family rights and how they interact with removal. It is possible for people to go to the courts if they want to test their family rights against the Government’s obligations to remove them. But we are clear that our priority is protecting British citizens from dangerous criminals, and that is what we are doing.