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Almost 600 refusals issued under Windrush scheme

REFUSALS: Sajid Javid has said the decisions have not been made lightly

ALMOST 600 refusals have been issued under the Windrush scheme.

In a letter sent to Yvette Cooper yesterday, home secretary Sajid Javid said that the Windrush Taskforce has issued 597 refusals. Of those refusals, 335 were handed out to individuals living in the UK, the remaining 262 were issued to those who made an application from overseas.

Javid said: “None of the refusal decisions have been made lightly, and all of them have had lengthy and detailed consideration. The decision to refuse in these cases has been checked and challenged extensively at operational level and been approved at ministerial level. Policy experts have been engaged to ensure that all refusals are in line with our policies and guidance.”

The reasons for individual refusals were not given but it is likely they include applicants’ criminal records and arrival in the UK after 1973.

Commonwealth citizens who arrived in the UK before 1973 were automatically granted indefinite leave to remain. For members of the Windrush Generation affected by the crisis, they often never had or lost documentation to prove their right to remain.

Individuals whose applications are refused have the right to request a free review. During the review process, applications can provide new information, which can lead to refusals being overturned.

“We are learning lessons from cases that have been overturned, to further improve our processes,” Javid said.

Support and compensation
Members of the Windrush Generation affected by the immigration scandal and campaigners advocating on their behalf have criticised the government for its failure to provide those in need with urgent financial support.

In the period up until the end of January, the 48 requests for support were made, 41 remain under consideration, two have been approved and five have been declined.

Campaign group The Windrush Movement UK wrote on Twitter: “Around 17+ Windrush already dead and still no urgency from Sajid Javid for the hardship fund. How many will die waiting for the compensation scheme?”

Cooper, the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, has previously said: “For the special hardship fund only to have helped one person by the end of last year is shocking.”

Out of the 50 requests for review that have been submitted up to the end of January, refusals have been upheld in 39 cases and overturned in two. Nine reviews are still in progress.

In his letter to Cooper, Javid also provided an update on the progress of the Windrush compensation scheme. He said that he intends to publish the government’s response to the consultation shortly but did not state a specific date.

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