The Home Office has appointed a health professor to advise on the Windrush compensation scheme.
Martin Levermore, a visiting professor for health, education and life sciences at Birmingham City University succeeds Martin Forde QC after an open recruitment competition.
Forde, a barrister, was appointed to the post in May 2018. He helped to design the scheme and then monitored progress on how it was being administered after it launched in April 2019.
His replacement comes eight months after the Home Office opened recruitment for the position – a process that was itself launched a year after the department pledged to appoint an independent adviser in a response to its own consultation on the scheme.
Applicants for the role were expected to have “undisputed personal integrity”, as well as experience of working with communities and people that have been personally affected by the Windrush scandal.
Levermore, who is also an honorary consultant for health innovations with the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, has “significant experience in working with and representing those from the Commonwealth”, the Home Office said.
The scheme awards compensation to members of the Windrush generation – Commonwealth nationals who have the right to live and access services in the UK – who were wrongfully deported, denied access to public services or otherwise incorrectly targeted by the UK immigration system.
Levermore is chair of the Birmingham Commonwealth Association’s Trade and Business Group, Patron of the National Caribbean Monument Charity, an executive committee member of the Greater Birmingham Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce, chair a Jamaican Diaspora UK project task force and a committee member for the Association of Jamaican Nationals Birmingham.
Levermore will provide “crucial independent oversight and reassurance on the Windrush compensation scheme’s operation, policy and effectiveness”, the Home Office said.