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Windrush: three people wrongly removed flown back to UK

WRONGLY REMOVED: The Home Office has paid for three victims of the Windrush immigration scandal to be flown back to the UK

THE HOME secretary has revealed that three members of the Windrush Generation wrongly removed from the UK have been flown back following contact with the specially created taskforce.

The individuals, all of whom came from Jamaica, arrived back in the UK between July and September.

Their flights were paid for by the Home Office due to their “exceptional and urgent circumstances”, Sajid Javid wrote in his update on the government’s response to the Windrush scandal published yesterday.

Each of the flights departed from Kingston, Jamaica, and arrived at London Gatwick.

In total to date, 13 individuals who have been removed from the UK have been given the right to return to the country. Of the 13, three have been given indefinite leave to remain or other leave to remain, three have been granted a 10-year visitor visa and seven have been given the right to abode/citizenship.

The Home Office has identified 83 people who have been removed from the UK or prevented from returning after going overseas. It has contacted 44 of them, 10 are deceased and the remaining 29 have not yet been contacted by the Home Office.

Javid said: “There are 29 individuals whom we have so far been unable to contact, despite attempting to do so in a number of different ways.”

In the update published yesterday, Javid reiterated his promise to resolve the crisis. He said: “I can reassure members that my department remains entirely focussed on righting the wrongs experienced by the Windrush Generation.”

Hardship fund

A hardship fund has been established to provide assistance to those who urgently need support in advance of the Windrush Compensation scheme, which is expected in the new year.

The guidelines for the hardship fund outline that eligible claimants could receive up to £5,000. Only those who have a “compelling reason” why they cannot wait to make a claim via the Windrush Compensation scheme will be granted support from the fund.

Claimants who are given support – financial or otherwise – through the fund face the possibility that it will be taken into account in relation to any further claims they make under the Windrush Compensation scheme.

Labour MP David Lammy, who has campaigned on behalf of the Windrush Generation, has repeatedly urged the government to create a hardship fund since the scandal broke.

In May he wrote to Javid and called on him to immediately make funds available for those left destitute as a result of the scandal.

“I would urge you to consider setting up a hardship fund to support these people whilst you consult on the details of the compensation scheme,” he wrote.

Responding to the Home Office’s announcement that such a fund will now be open to those affected, Lammy said: “This Christmas many Windrush citizens will be in poverty as a direct result of appalling mistreatment by their own government.

“It is shocking that it has taken the home secretary nine months to set up a hardship fund I and others have been calling for ever since this scandal broke.”

He added: “We are still without a full compensation scheme and this announcement appears to have been made cynically on a heavy news day when many members of the Windrush generation may well be totally unaware of it. I hope that the Home Office makes every effort to inform those eligible.”

Anyone seeking to make a claim under the hardship fund can contact the taskforce on
Freephone: 0800 678 1925 or at commonwealthtaskforce@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Have you been affected by the Windrush immigration scandal? Share your story with us. Email newsdesk@thevoicemediagroup.co.uk or call 020 7510 0383

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