“How little can we get away with?”

By the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

A new independent report issued today shows the Home Office is failing to learn the lessons of Windrush. It warns of another Windrush-style scandal unless the Home Office makes meaningful change. 

In the wake of the Windrush scandal, Wendy Williams was called in to find out and advise what went wrong at the Home Office. She published a report in spring 2020, with 30 recommendations for an overhaul of the department’s culture and systems. 

The Home Office promised to learn the lessons and right the wrongs. But in her follow-up inspection published today, Wendy Williams has warned that ‘change’ is being turned into a tick-box exercise – meanwhile it’s business as usual at the top. 

Insiders at the department admit that the scheme set up to compensate victims of the Windrush scandal is a “devastating insult” that screams “how little can we get away with paying out?” 

The JCWI urges ministers to take Wendy Williams’ report seriously, listen to the victims of the Windrush scandal and the millions of others who are harmed by its work, and scrap its hostile policies and culture for good. 

Satbir Singh, Chief Executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants commented:

“It’s been four years since the Windrush scandal broke. Survivors have been demanding justice and accountability from the Home Office for almost half a decade now. But this latest Wendy Williams review suggests that it has failed to listen, learn or change enough, and the department now ‘runs the risk’ of ushering in another Windrush-like scandal. 

“It’s intolerable that this is the case, but it’s no surprise given that this government’s cruel and racist immigration policies – which sat at the root of the scandal – remain in place. These punitive policies continue to devastate the lives of countless families, who like Windrush victims before them, are scared to go to the doctor or report exploitation.

“We urge ministers to take Wendy Williams’ report seriously, listen to the survivors of the Windrush scandal, and to the millions of others harmed by Home Office policies. We need to see an end to the department’s hostile policies and culture, and a growing culture of compassion and humanity.”

Vistims of the Windrush scandal contiue to live in real hardship, with many still awaiting comensation. This winter, the JCWI and partners raised £70,000 to support  members of the Windrush generation who are still struggling, three years after the Windrush scandal first hit the headlines.

Image: Black Lives Matter (series, 2/2). Artist: Adrian Meadows, licensed under Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC-SA). https://thegreats.co/artworks/black-lives-matter-series-22

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