Home Secretary regrets failing to see scope of Windrush scandal sooner

Home Secretary regrets failing to see scope of Windrush scandal sooner

In an address in the UK Parliament on Monday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the Government will grant citizenship to the Windrush Generation and that it will waive the fees and charges associated with the process.

"I was not going to say anything, but the Prime Minister quoted me, let me say to the prime minister: Do not try to hide behind me or the Labour Party when she was warned repeatedly the damage her obsession with her net migration target was doing", the Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP said.

The row came amid deepening anger at the way members of the Windrush generation, who arrived from the Commonwealth in the decades following the Second World War and who have now been threatened with deportation, have been treated.

Instead it fell to one of the leader's of Labour's "shadow shadow" cabinet, the forensic Home Affairs Committee chair Ms Cooper, to take the Prime Minister to task.

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The Labour leader said: "We now know that when she took over from her predecessor, her intent was to harden this cruel and misdirected policy, pledging to do so ruthlessly. I didn't see it as a systemic issue until very recently".

But she said a distinction should be drawn between those people who had settled in the United Kingdom legally and contributed to British life and those with no right to be in the UK.

May has been at the centre of a barrage of criticism for the Government's policy to cut net migration down to the tens of thousands - an edict to which May was reportedly determined to stick and which numerous Tories criticised her for.

May repeatedly declined to concede any connection, saying the plight of the Windrush community had been created purely because some were not given documentary evidence of their right to remain in the United Kingdom when they arrived decades before.

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Corbyn also quizzed May on plans to compensate Windrush migrants who lost jobs, pensions or benefits after being wrongly targeted by immigration officials. "We remain vigilant on the issue such that our Mission in the United Kingdom, with whom the Ministry is in regular communication, are monitoring and maintaining contact with the Home Office on the issue", added Johnson Smith.

In another step, the Government published guidance for employers and landlords to clarify that people in the Windrush generation are legally able to rent property and work in the UK. "The problem here is that people were not properly documented".

"Up and down this country people want to ensure that the Government is taking action against those people who are here in this country illegally", she said.

A compensation scheme for those affected by the failings will be introduced within weeks.

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