Amber Rudd has admitted the Home Office does not know how many Windrush immigrants have been wrongly deported as she apologised for their “appalling” treatment.
Reports suggest that many who answered the call to come to the UK to work in essential services in the 1950s and 1960s are being denied access to state healthcare, losing their jobs and even being threatened with deportation.
Caroline Nokes, the immigration minister, appeared to admit on Monday that some had already been kicked out of the UK after being incorrectly branded as illegal immigrants.
She told ITV News she did not know “the numbers” but that there had been some “horrendous situations” which had “appalled” her.
And speaking in the Commons, Rudd indicated she also did not know how many, if any, deportations had taken place.
The home secretary said she would be meeting with high commissioners from Commonwealth countries to find out “if there are any situations where they have been removed”.
Rudd told MPs: “I do not want any of the Commonwealth citizens who are here legally to be impacted in the way they have.
“Frankly, some of the ways they have been treated has been wrong, has been appalling and I am sorry.
“That’s why I am setting up a new area in my department to ensure that we have a completely new approach to how their situation is regularised.”
Theresa May has announced she would meet Caribbean state leaders this week. Downing Street had initially rejected the request.
The U-turn on Monday afternoon came as the government scrambled to get a grip on the story.
Labour MP David Lammy had co-ordinated a letter to the prime minister condemning the ”grotesque, immoral and inhumane” situation.
It won cross-party support from a string of high-profile MPs, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Conservative backbenchers including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Tom Tugendhat.
The timing could not be worse for ministers as it comes as Commonwealth leaders gathered for a summit in London.
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Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec