Jul 29th, 2021
Fix the Windrush compensation scheme petition update
By David Innes
Thank you everyone for signing this petition which has played an important role in exposing the failure of the Windrush compensation scheme.
Along with your support several celebrities have supported the campaign such as Lenny Henry, Thandiwe Newton, Hugh Quarshie, Naomie Harris and Shobna Gulati.
The petition was featured in news stories during Windrush Day with several victims sharing their experiences and making the case that the scheme should be removed from the Home Office.
As a result of the petition Helen Hayes MP for Dulwich and West Norwood secured a 2-hour debate in Parliament on the 30th of June where several MPs across all political parties recognised that the Home Secretary are not righting the wrongs of the scandal Windrush Scandal and the ongoing failure around the compensation scheme. You can still watch the debate on the parliament website. https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Commons
On the 21st of July Priti Patel made some more changes to the compensation scheme which reflects some of our key demands in the petition:
– providing easy read English;
– better guidance for case workers in dealing with compensation claims;
– and more outreach work in African, Caribbean, and other parts of the Commonwealth.
She reported these changes to the Home Affairs Select Committee. Again you can see her cross examination by the Committee https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/d2ede615-9b6f-4e87-93fd-58b5e1d4a65c.
Yesterday the Public Accounts Committee released their latest report again critical of the failure of the scheme https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/home-office-slammed-82-windrush-24622442
It is great that the government have been influenced by our petition, but we still need to campaign for the compensation scheme to be remove from the Home Office. Please share this petition and still lobby your local MP, Councillor, or elected representatives at regional and in our nations too! Also please support the work of Windrush Lives and The Good Law Project who have launched a questionnaire to capture more evidence of the failure of the scheme which then will form the basis of a potential judicial review. I urge people and organisation to complete this important survey which supports our petition campaign for an independent agency to administer the scheme (https://windrushlives.goodlawproject.org/ ).
In terms of next steps regarding the campaign I have written to Priti Patel and Boris Johnson for an urgent meeting where they will meet some of the survivors of the Windrush Scandal who will share their experiences of the compensation scheme and to start a process of reconciliation as recommended by Wendy Williams in her Lessons Learned Review report on the scandal. It is critical that the the Home Office needs to listen and learn from the experiences from the survivors in tackling all aspects of righting the wrongs. By removing the compensation scheme from the Home Office to an independent body this will be a start in this process.
Finally, it has been 12 months since the late Paulette Wilson died linked to the hostile environment policy. Please have in your thoughts her daughter Natalie and other the families who lost loved ones over the last three years many of whom have still not received compensation or even a letter of apology. We must hold this government to account as the perpetrator of one biggest human right abuses this century. No Justice No Peace!!!
Thank you for your ongoing support
Patrick Vernon OBE