David Lammy: "Government's slow Windrush response mirrors their Grenfell response"
22 June 2020, 21:05
Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy called for more urgent action from the government to address the Windrush scandal.
Monday 22 June marks 72 years since the Empire Windrush ship arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex, bringing around 500 people from Jamaica at the invitation of the British government to help rebuild the UK in the aftermath of WWII.
However, the Windrush scandal of 2018 led to generations of people being wrongly detained or denied access to official documents, healthcare, work, housing benefits and pensions, despite living legally in the UK. Some were even deported to countries where they had not lived since they were children.
Shadow Justice Secretary and Labour MP David Lammy, who has long been campaigning for the victims to receive justice says, "The Windrush Scandal is now several years old...it's amazing that two years later only 60 claimants have had any money paid out.
"That amounts to £360,000 given people were detained, deported, lost access to healthcare, to jobs."
Mr Lammy said Wendy Williams, who led the Windrush inquiry, gave a "very good review and it needs to be implemented."
Home Secretary Priti Patel announced today a working group has been set up to "right the wrongs" for the Windrush generation.
However the Shadow Justice Secretary said, "I think what people want is for Priti Patel to take responsibility and right those wrongs and act with a degree of urgency that the scandal requires."
Iain Dale asked why Mr Lammy thought only 60 Windrush victims had received compensation.
"There's a pattern with this particular government which is that the scandal emerges, I'm thinking now of Grenfell, they say don't worry this is terrible we're going to deal with it, every building in the country will have their cladding removed and two three years later, guess what? There are people sleeping in homes tonight with that cladding."
M Lammy continued: "Here we have Windrush, people made destitute, and there are terrible stories emerging in the press of people still destitute without the money."