Barred for eight years, Windrush citizen hopes to return home
26 April 2018, 04:50
An 82-year-old man, who lived in the UK for more than 50 years, says he is hopeful the Windrush scandal will see him finally allowed back, after eight years stranded in Jamaica.
Clayton Barnes returned to his birthplace on the Caribbean island to repair hurricane damage to the family home in 2010.
But when the retired roofer tried to board a flight back to the UK, he was refused permission.
He was told the indefinite leave to stay that he had been granted by UK authorities had lapsed because he had been away for two years.
His daughter Samantha is pushing authorities to reverse the decision as the scandal over the treatment of migrants from the Windrush era continues to swirl around the Government.
Clayton told Sky News: "I actually grew up in England, I wasn't here, I grew up in England. I'm not a criminal, I work hard, pay my taxes, whatever, raise my kids, have my family, I just come out here, I can't get back, this is a joke."
Clayton, who lived in Milton Keynes before returning to Jamaica, says he's not angry and doesn't blame anyone for his predicament. He says he did question whether race was behind the decision.
He says the separation from his family has been the hardest part of his time in Jamaica.
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"We're very close. I said, why am I not down there with the kids, seeing them growing up?
"Because I always have the little kids in my arms, I take the them to football, whether it's cold or rainy, I go take him to football."
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The Jamaican public has watched with some anger and bemusement at developments in the UK. Thousands of miles and decades of history have been brought very close to home.
Clayton is hopeful the Government's response to the fall-out from the scandal could see him granted permission to return soon.
Aside from seeing his family, he says, he would like to "see friends, watch football and have an ale in the pub".
But he is wary. "I don't jump the gun, I say if it happens it happens. I've been here long enough to get sore about it or crazy about it.
"Of course I'm excited, I'd love to go, like now, but to me it has to happen, let me see it happen."
(c) Sky News 2018: Barred for eight years, Windrush citizen hopes to return home