A Home Office minister has repeatedly refused to deny reports that the Home Office plans to backtrack on promises made in the wake of the Windrush scandal.
The government initially pledged to implement all of the recommendations in Wendy Williams’ Windrush Lessons Learned Review, but claims have surfaced that it plans to waive some of them.
On the cutting board, according to The Guardian, are plans for a migrant officer, strengthening the powers of the independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) and holding reconciliation events.
Faced with this report in the House of Lords, Lord Murray of Blidworth said the Government would “not comment on leaks”.
Nonetheless, colleagues urged the minister to reassure them that the government would continue to comply with all recommendations.
The government will not comment on leaks, nor do I intend to do so todayMr Murray
Labor frontbencher Lord Coaker argued that failure to implement all the promised recommendations would be “final betrayal of the generation”.
Lord Murray said: “The Government will not comment on leaks and I do not intend to do so today.”
Baroness Benjamin, Chair of the Windrush Commemoration Committee, said: “Due to the Windrush scandal, one can be forgiven for feeling anxious, nervous and concerned at hearing reports of government plans to withdraw Wendy Williams’ recommendations.
“In my last letter to the Prime Minister, I stated that this would be disrespectful and would be perceived as evil, vindictive and heartless.
“This is a matter of national pride and we must be determined to right the wrongs and the injuries.
“Will the Government categorically assure me, this House and the Caribbean Committee that these rumors are untrue and that it intends to fulfill all of its commitments?”
However, Lord Murray still declined to comment on whether the Government planned to drop plans to implement all of the recommendations.
He said: “As I pointed out to the noble lord a moment ago, the government does not comment on leaks and I do not intend to do so now.”
Former police officer and Liberal Democrat colleague Lord Paddick tried again to get a straight answer from the Minister.
He said: “Without commenting on the leaks, would the minister agree that a failure to implement all the recommendations of the independent Williams review would further offend the Afro-Caribbean community?”
I just don’t accept the government abandoning these recommendationsSarah Dines, MP
The Minister replied: “Tempting as it is to pursue the response offered by Lord Paddick, I am afraid that would amount to commenting on the leaks and I have no intention of doing so.”
The minister’s refusal to clarify the government’s position comes after another Home Office minister, Sarah Dines MP, called the Guardian article “inaccurate”.
She said: “I just don’t accept the government abandoning these recommendations”, targeting the “apparently inaccurate Guardian article” which contained what she described as “false, inaccurate information”.
This compensation is intended to make up for the Windrush scandal that erupted in 2018 when British nationals, mainly from the Caribbean, were wrongly arrested, deported or threatened with deportation despite having the right to live in the UK.
Many lost their homes and jobs, and were denied access to medical care and social services.
Attorney Wendy Williams made a number of recommended changes about how the scandal came about in a 2020 report, concluding it was “predictable and preventable.”
Former Home Secretary Priti Patel accepted all 30 recommendations, but when Ms Williams received progress from the Home Office in March 2022, she said she was “disappointed” that only eight had been fully implemented.
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/minister-refuses-to-deny-claim-government-is-dropping-some-windrush-pledges-42281627.html The minister refuses to dispute claims that the government is dropping some of Windrush’s commitments