Wife of Windrush victim unveils poor management of scandal in Home Office

23 June 2020, 11:45

By Seán Hickey

This caller reminded Iain Dale how red tape and paperwork has left Windrush victims in the lurch after being approved for compensation.

Evangeline phoned in to speak to Iain Dale on the 72nd anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, which has become a day to remember those who moved to Britain from the Jamaica that have had settlement questioned by the Home Office, costing jobs and livelihoods.

"My husband came over on his own little passport aged six as a British subject which was written on the passport at the time." The caller told Iain.

"Fast forward to 2011-2012 and all of a sudden at his work he was being asked to produce a lot of paperwork that just didn't exist, this is despite having worked for such a long time" which led to him being laid off, although to date he has received an apology and has been fighting to receive compensation, which he's still waiting for clarification.

Evangeline referenced Priti Patel's plans to open a working group to investigate past inquiries into Windrush and stated that "there's hardly any compensation money being paid out, so where is she going to get this money from." Iain wanted to know how long ago her husband began seeking compensation – she told him they applied in September 2019.

The 72nd anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush was on Monday 22nd June
The 72nd anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush was on Monday 22nd June. Picture: PA

Iain was disgusted by the revelation. "How can it take nine months" he wondered.

Evangeline told him that the Home Office have been "dragging their feet" on the matter, and summed up the poor management of the situation by telling a story of a call from the Home Office "that just proved that they hadn't looked at the paperwork" whereby they were asking how and why her husband was terminated, and his work details were filled out incorrectly in their databases.

The caller told Iain that although compensation is a start, it doesn't go far enough to address the issue. "The Home Office think all black people work in low paid roles, lots of us in our fifties and sixties have businesses. My husband employed two people" she said, suggesting that compensation cannot recover the damage done to her husband's career and business.

"The big employers took the opportunity if you didn't have the paperwork to just terminate you...this is what we're fighting."

Iain agreed that "they should be working through the cases a lot more quickly" and on a quick investigation found that Kevin Foster MP is the Under-Secretary for the Home Office. "We'll try and get him on the programme to explain exactly what is going on on this because I think you deserve to know" he assured Evangeline.