Home Office report into Windrush scandal condemns 'hostile environment' immigration policy

Report commissioned by the department says civil servants were ‘rightly appalled by what happened’ but this was ‘often juxtaposed with a self-justification’

Photo: PA

By Anahita Hossein-Pour

28 Jun 2019

The Home Office was “reckless” and failed in its legal duty to counter racial discrimination over the Windrush scandal, a leaked report has found.

Leaked extracts revealed by Channel 4 calls on ministers to provide an “unqualified apology” over the row and says that all Home Office staff should be educated on the UK's colonial past.

The report, 'Windrush Lessons Learned Review' was commissioned by the Home Office in the wake of the row over British citizens – many of whom had lived in the UK for decades – being denied access to services because of the department's crackdown on illegal immigration.

Independent advisor Wendy Williams carried out the review, which was aimed at establishing what went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again.


In her report, she wrote: "Whilst everyone I spoke to, was rightly appalled by what happened, this was often juxtaposed with a self-justification, either in the form of it was unforeseen, unforeseeable and therefore unavoidable... or a failure on the part of individuals to prove their status."

According to the extracts seen by Channel 4 News, Williams will say that the implementation of the "hostile environment" immigration policy when Theresa May was home secretary was flawed.

She said: “It failed to adequately consider the past... It failed to adequately consider the impact on people... It also failed to adequately mitigate equalities issues including the potential for discrimination, particularly in housing."

Williams added: “The Home Office should ensure that all its existing and new staff learn about the history of the UK and its relationship with the rest of the world including Britain's colonial history..."

"Ministers/department should admit that it was wrong and provide an unqualified apology...the sincerity of this apology will be judged by how far the Department demonstrates contrition…”

In response to the revelations, the Home Office told Channel 4 News: “We do not comment on leaked documents”.

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