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MP Margaret Hodge: Home Office failed Windrush victim

DEVASTATED: Labour MP Margaret Hodge

THE HOME Office failed Windrush victim Sarah O’Connor, Labour MP Margaret Hodge has said.

Hodge made the statements in a letter to the home secretary. She said she was “devastated” by the news that O’Connor had died.

O’Connor was one of Hodge’s constituents and a vocal victim of the Windrush scandal and campaigner for the rights of the Windrush Generation.

She had lived in the UK, which she came to from Jamaica as a child aged six, for more than 50 years.

Fifty-seven-year-old O’Connor was found dead at her home on Sunday September 16.

In her letter to Javid, Hodge, who described the treatment O'Connor was subjected to as appalling, referenced a previous letter that she sent to him in June.

In it, the MP for Barking and Dagenham said she had asked him to “deal with the matter of compensation without any further delay, and offer my constituent remuneration that sufficiently reflects the financial and emotional turmoil caused by the Home Office’s gross inadequacy".

FAILED: Sarah O'Connor, third from left, alongside Labour MP David Lammy, centre, Labour MP Dawn Butler, left, and other Windrush scandal victims

Hodge said: “I am deeply disappointed to say that it fell to my office team, not the Home Office, to provide Sarah with the extra support she needed when it came to the issues he faced as a result of your department’s failings.”

O'Connor faced bankruptcy as a result of the difficulties she proving her right to live and work in the UK in the last year of her life.

Her family have said they believe the stress of the experience contributed to her unexpected death.

Hodge also referred to the home secretary’s promise to “do right by the Windrush Generation” and to “rectify the injustices of the past”.

She said: “Sadly, Sarah and her family will never be reimburses for her traumatic experience and she will never see the Home Office resolve her Windrush injustice, and she leaves behind a family devastated by her death.

O’Connor’s daughter Stephanie is currently appealing for donations to fund her mother’s funeral.

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