Custom Search 1

Sajid Javid tells The Voice: “I’ll fix Windrush injustices”

COMMITTED: Home Secretary Sajid Javid says work examining the wider issues raised by the Windrush Scandal would continue

AFTER THE suffering experienced by people caught up in the Windrush Scandal home secretary Sajid Javid has told The Voice he has made it his “personal mission to put things right”.

Last week he launched the government’s Windrush Compensation Scheme which will support thousands of those who faced difficulties demonstrating their immigration status.
Javid told The Voice: “The wrongs that Commonwealth nationals and the Windrush Generation have suffered over the years are truly shocking. As home secretary I’ve made it my personal mission to put things right.

"Commonwealth citizens are key pillars in our diverse and multi-cultural society. They answered Britain’s calls for labour after the Second World War and they’ve worked, paid taxes and contributed to our communities. The UK is their home and there should be no doubt about that.”

However responding to the launch of the compensation scheme shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said that the government’s efforts to correct the Windrush Scandal did not go far enough. She said the scandal would continue “unless and until the government ends its hostile environment policy”.

The scheme, which is estimated to be worth £200 million, is open to anyone from any nationality who has the right to live or work in the UK without any restrictions or is now a British citizen, and arrived in the UK before December 31, 1988. It is also open to:

• Children and grandchildren of Commonwealth citizens in certain circumstances
• The estates of those who are now deceased but who would have otherwise been eligible to claim compensation
• Close family members of eligible claimants where there has been a signi cant impact on their life or where there is evidence of certain direct financial costs

Javid said: “Over the past year, I’ve taken a number of steps to ensure we rectify the wrongs people suffered. Immediately after these injustices came to light, I established a
taskforce to help Commonwealth citizens secure the documentation to prove their right to live and work in the UK.

So far, more than 3,600 people have been granted citizenship with their help. This includes over 2,800 nationals from Caribbean and African countries, such as Barbados and Nigeria.

“But it’s clear more must be done. We must acknowledge the pain and hardship that these people have faced, and make sure that they are properly compensated for how their lives were adversely impacted.

“That’s why I’ve launched the Windrush Compensation Scheme. It’s now open for applications to anyone who came to live in the UK from a Commonwealth country before 1973, and to anyone from any nationality who made the UK their home before December 31, 1988.

“Anyone who lost their job or access to services such as housing, healthcare and education because they were unable to demonstrate their lawful status in the UK will be able to claim compensation. We will also compensate for any emotional distress caused.

Explaining some of the influences on the design of the scheme, Javid said: “The compensation scheme has been shaped by the personal experiences and stories of those who were affected, and we have taken our time to make sure that we get it absolutely right.

“Our first call for evidence received 650 responses and our formal consultation on the compensation scheme generated responses from almost 1,500 individuals and organisations.

“These stories have been crucial in shaping the design of the scheme, to make sure that first and foremost it is fair, and that it is as easy as possible to make a claim. I’ve also appointed distinguished law- yer Martin Forde QC – himself the son of Windrush parents – to oversee the scheme and provide independent scrutiny.”

He continued: “Over the past year I’ve met a number of families that have been affected, and last week I had the privilege of meeting more of these individuals to hear about their experiences. Being the son of Pakistani migrants who moved to the UK in the 1960s, their stories particularly resonated with me.”

Javid added that, in addition to the launch of the compensation scheme, work examining the wider issues raised by the Windrush Scandal would continue.

“The scheme is a landmark moment in our journey to put things right. But let me be
clear: our work does not stop here,” he said.


“We will be hosting events up and down the country, so those affected can have their questions answered and receive help to lodge a claim. In addition, in the next few months, we will be receiving the results from an independent lessons learned review which we will use to make absolutely sure that nothing like this ever happens to any group of people ever again.
“I’ve also committed to reviewing the structures and processes of our entire immigration system, to make sure that we deliver a fair and humane system that works for everyone.

“It is imperative that the Home Of ce learns the mistakes of the past, and while I’m Home Secretary I’ll do everything in my power to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.”

However, shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said that despite the launch of the scheme, the pain of the scandal remained for many of those caught up in it.

She said: “We have to remember how much pride the Windrush Generation took in being British. They came with passports that indicated to them that they are British.

“There was the humiliation of being told year on year that they were somehow not British, not worthy, not deserving. And services that they had paid for over years and years were not available.”

For more information about the Windrush Compensation Scheme visit:

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.