HACKNEY MAYOR Philip Glanville has demanded an independent inquiry into the Windrush scandal in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Hackney Citizenreports.
The leader for the east London borough sent a letter on December 21, where he reiterated his request to call on the government to end the ‘hostile environment’ approach to immigration, and highlighted a recent National Audit Office report confirming that the Home Office did not consider its duty of care towards people’s rights in its implementation of immigration policy.
Glanville said: “About eight per cent of [Hackney’s] population is of Afro-Caribbean ethnic origin and it’s believed the borough is home to hundreds, if not thousands, of the Windrush generation, and many more come from Commonwealth countries across the globe.
“They and their children have, and continue to, contribute a huge amount to Hackney, and are at the heart of the borough’s rich diversity and vibrant culture.
“To see valued members of society being treated as second class citizens by your government has left me, and I imagine any fair-minded individual, appalled.
“It is entirely without justification, and the Home Office’s cold approach to the enforcement of its ill-conceived ‘hostile environment’ immigration policies has been startlingly inhumane.”
He added that the hostile environment is “scaring people away from accessing council services, health and mental health services” among others.
The Prime Minister has yet to respond to Glanville’s request.
Hackney Council became the first local authority in the UK to pass a motion in support of the Windrush generation, pledging to oppose the criminalisation of Windrush families, celebrate annual Windrush Day and press central Government for a public enquiry into the recent scandal.
The motion, which was passed in August 2018, saw key figures gather at Hackney Town Hall to support Windrush scandal victims and to continuously press the Prime Minister to call for an independent public enquiry – something they have followed through on.
At the time of the meeting, Cllr Carole Williams said: Williams said: “With the arrival of the HMS Empire Windrush and other ships, came nurses who worked and contributed to the success of the NHS since its inception.
“The government reached out to commonwealth countries, asking its citizens to come to help rebuild following the devastation of the war. Many responded to the call from the ‘mother country’.
“They experienced the colour bar when looking for a room to rent and often encountered signs that read, ‘no blacks, no coloureds, no Irish’. But, despite that, they made Britain their home.
“We can all be proud that Hackney Council is a welcoming borough, that we celebrate diversity, that we marked the 70th anniversary of Windrush Day 2018 with a reception in the Speaker’s Parlour, and that we have committed to continue to celebrate Windrush Day each year.”