The National - News
UK’s Windrush compensation delay ‘truly shameful’
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel should be stripped of responsibility for a compensation plan for Caribbean migrants affected by the Windrush scandal, MPs said.
A cross-party group of MPs said her department’s treatment of those affected was “truly shameful”.
Thousands of people who migrated to Britain legally from the Caribbean from 1948 to 1971 were denied health care and the right to work owing to a lack of paperwork. Some were threatened with deportation.
After the scandal broke in April 2018, a compensation programme was launched, but politicians said many people affected had “yet to receive a penny”.
In a report, the Commons Home Affairs Committee outlined the “litany of flaws” blighting the initiative and said the blunders were a result of Home Office policies.
Yvette Cooper, chairwoman of the committee, told BBC Breakfast it was “simply wrong” that only 5 per cent of eligible applicants had received compensation four years after the programme was set up.
She emphasised its urgency, referring to the victims as “an ageing generation who were so badly wronged by Home Office failures”.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ms Cooper said Home Office officials had been “repeatedly asking for documentation that doesn’t exist, for paper that no one could be expected to have”.
She said applicants had been asked to show “impossible documentation” such as payslips for jobs that they were turned down for because they could not prove they were British.