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UK Home Secretary offers apology to Windrush generation

17 April 2018

It has seen some Windrush generation residents, who might never have felt the need to apply for a United Kingdom passport before, left without the documentation now required by officials.

The Home Secretary launched an unusual attack on her own department as the Government faced severe criticism over the treatment of the "Windrush" generation of British residents.

Ms Rudd announced the creation of a new task force in the Home Office to speed up the regularisation of the immigration status of people who arrived in the United Kingdom as long ago as the 1940s.

Labour MP David Lammy was granted an urgent question today to ask the Home Secretary Amber Rudd how numerous Windrush generation have been deported, detained and denied NHS care.

These individuals have done nothing wrong and there is no basis upon which the Home Office can justify what they are doing. "We want to give them a message of reassurance because I value these people".

In response, the Home Secretary apologised for the "terrible" treatment of the Windrush generation.

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Caroline Noakes appeared to confirm that some had been wrongly deported, as she said the Home Office wanted to make it as "easy as we possibly can" for those affected.

"Theresa May must apologise for this mess which has taken place as a direct effect of the hostile environment she created".

May's six-year tenure at the interior ministry was marked by a determination to reduce immigration numbers, something she has continued to emphasise as premier and in Brexit negotiations.

"The Windrush generation must have their rights as British citizens confirmed, any who have been deported must be invited back to the United Kingdom immediately and those who oversaw their deportations must be held to account".

The Prime Minister agreed to meet the officials at the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit in London, after a row erupted over Downing Street's initial refusal to set up talks.

A Home Office official said the rejection had been because the subject of the meeting was not clear.

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The Tottenham MP said it was a "national shame" that it had taken so long for the government to speak on the issue, calling it "inhumane and cruel" for those who waited for them to act.

Barbados high commissioner to the UK, Guy Hewitt, claimed he had initially been told the Prime Minister's schedule was "full" this week.

May only became aware of a request for a meeting on Monday morning, and will discuss the issue with counterparts from Caribbean nations this week, her spokesman said.

The spokesman said: "She deeply values the contribution made by these and all Commonwealth citizens who have made a life in the United Kingdom and is making sure the Home Office is offering the correct solution for individual situations".

"She is aware that many people are unlikely to have documents that are over 40 years old, and she is clear that no one with the right to be here will be made to leave", the spokesman said.

In a letter to prime minister Theresa May, more than 140 MPs from all parties have expressed concern about what the call a "growing crisis".

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UK Home Secretary offers apology to Windrush generation