Union boss slates ‘cruel, vindictive government’
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