Home Office to spell out plan to implement full Windrush review before summer

Home secretary pledges to ensure Home Office “fundamentally shifts its way of working” after report


Photo: PA

By Kate Forrester

24 Jun 2020

The government will share its plan to implement all recommendations set out in a review into the Windrush scandal in full before Parliament breaks for summer, Priti Patel has confirmed.

The home secretary said she was committed to actioning all 30 points set out in the Wendy Williams review and that there were "serious and significant lessons" for her department to learn.

Patel said the 2018 scandal, which saw people from the Commonwealth incorrectly told they were in the UK illegally and in some cases wrongly deported, was "absolutely appalling".


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"I was clear when Wendy Williams published her review that I would listen and I would act," she told the Commons.

"I will continue to apologise... and ensure the Home Office not just learns lessons, but fundamentally shifts its way of working."

The Williams review, published in March, criticised the "hostile environment" policy on tackling illegal immigration and told the BBC that ministers "should have realised the impact" of the legislation on different groups of people.

It called for an overhaul of the ethos of the Home Office to ensure it was based on "fairness, humanity, diversity and inclusion", but stopped short of branding the department institutionally racist.

Patel's statement came 24 hours after the UK marked Windrush Day, the 72nd anniversary of the arrival of Commonwealth citizens who helped to rebuild the country in the wake of the Second World War.

In comments yesterday, Williams said the Home Office must "make good on its commitment to learn the lessons" from the Windrush scandal or face a “very grave risk of something similar happening again”.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour to mark Windrush Day, Williams said: "The Home Office has a very stark choice. It can decide not to implement my recommendations and, if that happens, then I think there is a very grave risk of something similar happening again."

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission announced earlier this month that it would launch legal action to review whether the Home Office complied with equality law when implementing the curbs on immigration.

The assessment will, the watchdog said, look at “how the department engaged with affected individuals and communities to understand the relevant historical and contextual factors when developing immigration policy from 2012-18“.

It will also consider whether the department “understood, monitored and reviewed the impact of placing increasingly onerous documentation requirements” on those swept up in the crackdown.

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