Windrush Compensation: Take scheme out of Home Office’s hands, says Helen Hayes

Katherine Johnston (03 April, 2020)

'People are simply fearful of the Home Office and its capacity to ruin lives'

33663Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood

Helen Hayes has called on the government to take the administration of the Windrush compensation scheme away from the Home Office.

She told parliament that her constituents’ experiences with the scheme so far had been ‘poor’.

Many of the first Windrush passengers came to south London to work at King’s College Hospital.

Hayes said victims were still afraid to come forward: “People are simply fearful of the Home Office and its capacity to ruin lives”.

One woman, after being told she was not allowed to return to the UK, had all her worldly belongings repossessed by her private landlord. They have never been returned.

A damning report into the scandal was published last month by Wendy Williams, castigating the Home Office’s ‘ignorance and thoughtlessness’.

Williams did not brand the department institutionally racist, but did highlight a lack of understanding of racism, and Britain’s colonial history, among civil servants.

In response, home secretary Priti Patel issued an apology in the House of Commons, saying the government was ‘truly sorry’.


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