Theresa May: Windrush children entitled to compensation
Theresa May has announced that Britain’s Windrush children will be entitled to compensation over their unfair treatment by the Home Office.
Speaking on the final day of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the Prime Minister insisted that the UK was committed to alleviating the “problems and anxieties” those affected had faced.
Changes to migration rules meant that some members of the Windrush generation - who came to Britain from the Caribbean in the 1950s and 60s to help with the post-war rebuilding effort – were threatened with deportation unless they could prove their immigration status.
As part of the Home Office crackdown people lost out on jobs, benefits and access to vital healthcare, with some even being forced into homelessness.
Mrs May pledged that “the UK will do whatever it takes including, where appropriate, payment of compensation, to resolve the anxieties and problems that some of the Windrush generation have suffered”.
“These people are British. They are part of us; they helped to build Britain and we are all the stronger for their contributions,” she added.
The Prime Minister has been under pressure this week to reassure the residents that their rights will now be upheld.
In response to the crisis Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced that a new team had been set up in the Home Office to assist those worried about their status.
The department is now dealing with almost 300 cases – up from the 49 that were reported on the first day of the new team’s existence.
Speaking after the CHOGM press conference today, Prime Minister of Grenada, Keith Mitchell, told reporters: “Clearly it’s something which is vibrating strongly in the Caribbean region as a whole.
“Many of our people came here and helped to build Britain, under conditions that were set for them. For me, it’s very unfair for them to be treated in the way they have been treated.
“The word compensation came out today - that was highly significant, extremely important. It’s not just, ‘I’m sorry.’
“People lost a lot, people suffered a lot of pain, and they must be given an opportunity to correct this – some serious compensation. If not the person, if they’ve gone, then the families who have suffered, too.”
On Tuesday, Mrs May said she was “genuinely sorry” for the way the Windrush children had been treated when she held a meeting with 12 Caribbean heads of state at Downing Street.