Diane Abbott slams ‘disgusting’ refusal by Theresa May to apologise for ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy
Diane Abbott today lashed out at Theresa May after the Prime Minister refused to apologise for the so-called 'hostile environment' immigration policy that led to the Windrush scandal.
The Government faced a major backlash earlier this year when it emerged post-war Caribbean migrants with British citizenship had been swept up in an illegal immigration clampdown.
Many lost access to public services and welfare, while 18 were wrongfully removed from the UK or detained.
Mrs May this morning apologised to those caught up in the Windrush scandal, but defended the broader ‘hostile environment’ policy pushed by the Home Office during her time as Home Secretary.
But Labour’s shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott blasted: “Theresa May's refusal to apologise for her hostile environment policy is disgusting.
"It is astonishing that the Prime Minister doesn't care to know how many people have been denied access to healthcare or lost their homes."
She added: "The Windrush scandal has exposed a moral failure at the heart of this rotten Government. Lives have been destroyed. Theresa May should hang her head in shame."
Appearing on the Andrew Marr show this morning, Mrs May said: "I apologise for the fact that some people got caught up in that, were caught up in that, in some cases as we've just seen tragic results."
But she added: “The point of the policy was to ensure that those people who were here in the United Kingdom illegally were identified and that appropriate action was taken."
During the interview, Mrs May also refused to give a number on how many Windrush citizens had lost their homes, been refused NHS treatment or been denied access to benefits as a result of the Government's policies.