Windrush lawyer lambasts Theresa May for "profiteering on other people's misery"

22 June 2020, 18:10

By Seán Hickey

A representative for many Windrush families called out the former PM for making money off of the scandal while those affected struggle to get compensation.

Jacqui McKenzie is a lawyer who represents many of the Windrush families and she was speaking to Eddie Mair on the 72nd anniversary of the arrival of hundreds of people from Jamaica on the Empire Windrush.

She was highlighting how there has not been a resolution to the scandal which saw people told they were in the UK illegally when Eddie shared information about Theresa May, the Prime Minister that issued an apology to victims two years ago.

"Theresa May is in demand on the international lecture circuit and she agreed to eight speeches around the world for which she was paid an average of more than £100,000 each."

"That's awful to hear, because she's one of the architects of the hostile environment" Ms McKenzie said, in reference to the treatment of victims of the scandal and how difficult it has been for them to prove that they were in the UK legally.

The lawyer pointed out that she is not the only person that has shown hostility to the Windrush generation, pointing out that former Labour leader Clement Atlee "was trying to turn the boat around and send it to East Africa."

"There are lots and lots of people who are responsible, she took it to a new level."

The former PM has recieved around £100k per speaking engagement
The former PM has recieved around £100k per speaking engagement. Picture: PA

Ms McKenzie argued that the former PM "wanted to make the system as difficult as possible for people who have no status to stay in the country and she hasn't thought it through" and is wrong that she can capitalise on a legacy that has brought suffering to people.

The environment which made it difficult for Windrush victims was designed to "catch a whole lot of people who were legally in the country and through no fault of their own couldn't prove it and that is at the doors of Theresa May" according to the lawyer.

She disgustedly ended her opinion by telling Eddie that "profiteering on other people's misery is not something I would be celebrating."

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