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Furious MPs confront Theresa May over ‘immoral and inhumane’ treatment of Windrush children

Liz Bates

3 min read

Dozens of MPs from across the political divide have rounded on Theresa May over the “grotesque, immoral and inhumane” treatment of the so-called Windrush children.

In a letter, 140 Parliamentarians demanded action from the Prime Minister after British residents who migrated from the Caribbean with their parents in the 1950s and 60s were threatened with deportation.

Labour MP David Lammy, who is leading the parliamentary campaign on the issue, said: “What is going on is grotesque, immoral and inhumane.

“It is a stain on our nation’s conscience and the Prime Minister must act urgently to right this historic wrong.

“The Government must immediately guarantee that anyone who comes forward to clarify their status should not face deportation or detention, because as things stand today there are thousands of people who are too worried about their future to come forward.

“I am campaigning for an amnesty but in reality it would not be an amnesty because that word implies wrongdoing.

“The Government must simply do the right thing, establish a humane route to clarifying their status in this country, change the burden of proof to stop all threats of deportation or the removal of rights and treat these people with the respect and dignity that they deserve.”

The letter, which is signed by 140 MPs from six parties - Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens – demands an “immediate and effective” response to the crisis.

Many of those affected by the immigration crackdown have been denied jobs, housing and healthcare, while some have been threatened with deportation, despite having lived and worked in the UK for decades.  

But despite mounting pressure on the Government to intervene, Number 10 reportedly refused a meeting to discuss a resolution with Caribbean officials, as part of this week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

According to The Guardian, representatives of 12 Caribbean countries were told that a face-to-face with Theresa May this week “would not be possible”.

Speaking on LBC this morning, Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg said the way that the Home Office had treated the Windrush children was a “deep disgrace”.

Labour’s Diane Abbott announced that she had called a public meeting in order “to demand the Government changes course and to discuss a way forward.”

“It should be a simple humanitarian and decent thing to allow the small number of people involved their automatic rights,” she added.

Government guidance released last Friday stated: “We recognise that this is causing problems for some individuals who have lost documents over the long period of time they have been in the UK…

“No one with the right to be here will be required to leave.”

While in a statement, Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: “We will handle every case with sensitivity and will help ... people gather the information they need.” 

David Isaac, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said the Government's actions were "unacceptable".

"It is unacceptable that people who were invited to become British Citizens, and have since spent decades of their lives here, contributing to our society and economy, are being treated in this way. The Government must make it a priority to meet with Caribbean leaders and reassure the people who now fear for their futures of their right to remain in the country that has been, and still is, their home."

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