Union boss slates ‘cruel, vindictive govern­ment’

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

The govern­ment has been ac­cused of be­ing “cruel and in­hu­mane” over its treat­ment of the Win­drush gen­er­a­tion who came to the UK from the Com­mon­wealth 70 years ago.

The leader of Uni­son has writ­ten to the Home Sec­re­tary call­ing for their le­gal sta­tus to be confirmed amid fears of de­por­ta­tions.

Dave Pren­tis cited the case of Al­bert Thompson, who has lived in the UK for 44 years, and has been told he has to pay £54,000 to have treat­ment for prostate can­cer.

Mr Pren­tis told Uni­son’s an­nual health con­fer­ence in Brighton: “We must never for­get the Win­drush gen­er­a­tion. Those who came from across the Com­mon­wealth, to help re­build our coun­try, and to build our NHS.

“Hard work, chil­dren raised, taxes paid, mak­ing Bri­tain their home. The SS Win­drush ar­rived in Til­bury Port just two weeks be­fore the NHS was es­tab­lished, and these two an­niver­saries, these two his­to­ries are in­ter­twined and in­sep­a­ra­ble.

“The Win­drush gen­er­a­tion served us all and made our coun­try a bet­ter place, but now we have to re­pay that ser­vice by sup­port­ing so many of them in their hour of need.

“I know all of you will share the hor­ror that I felt read­ing about Al­bert Thompson, de­nied treat­ment for can­cer un­less he could pay up front, de­nied it hav­ing lived here for 44 years.

“Aban­doned by a cruel, vindictive govern­ment. It’s in­hu­mane. We must do ev­ery­thing in our power to help Al­bert and the thou­sands of other mem­bers of the Win­drush gen­er­a­tion fac­ing the same fate.

“That’s why I’ve writ­ten to the Home Sec­re­tary Am­ber Rudd to de­mand that Al­bert Thompson receives the im­me­di­ate treat­ment he de­serves and he needs.

“I’m mak­ing a de­mand that she stops the de­por­ta­tions, respects those who have given decades to our com­mu­ni­ties.”

Mr Pren­tis branded US pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump a “vi­cious bigot” and vowed that health work­ers will lead protests if he ever vis­its the UK. A 23-year-old wo­man has ad­mit­ted killing her 18-month-old son, who died af­ter he plunged from the sixth floor of a block of flats.

El­liot Proc­ter was found with fa­tal in­juries at the bot­tom of the flats in Brad­ford in Oc­to­ber last year. His mother Gemma Proc­ter pleaded guilty to man­slaugh­ter. She will be sen­tenced at a later date.

Dave Pren­tis of Uni­son

Am­ber Rudd: task­force

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