Government confusion as officials scour files for Windrush generation deportees
Staff were trying to discover if anything had gone ‘appallingly wrong’ said Cabinet Office minister David Lidington.
Home Office officials are searching their records to establish if any members of the so-called “Windrush generation” of Britons have been wrongly deported, Cabinet Office minister David Lidington has said.
Mr Lidington said that while they were not aware of any who had been removed from the country, staff were going through the files to establish whether anything had gone “appallingly wrong in that way”.
His comments came amid confusion on Monday, after immigration minister Caroline Nokes appeared to suggest that some individuals may already have been deported in error.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd later told MPs she was not aware of any specific cases.
Mr Lidington told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “I talked to the Home Secretary about this last night and the position is that we have no information.
“We don’t know of any cases where someone has been deported from this category.”
He added that Home Office staff were searching records to see if anything had gone “appallingly wrong in that way”.
Mrs May was meeting on Tuesday with Caribbean leaders in the margins of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) in London in an attempt to reassure them that anyone entitled to be in the UK would not be deported.
The talks come after Ms Rudd apologised for the “appalling” treatment of people who came to Britain decades ago as schoolchildren and were now being denied access to healthcare and facing warnings they could be deported.
She told MPs on Monday that she was setting up a new taskforce to speed up the regularisation of the immigration status of people who arrived in the UK as long ago as the 1940s.
She said the Home Office had become “too concerned with policy and strategy” at the expense of the individual.
“I do not want any of the Commonwealth citizens who are here legally to be impacted in the way they have,” she told MPs.
“Frankly, some of the ways they have been treated has been wrong, has been appalling and I am sorry.”
Speaking ahead of Mrs May’s talks with the Caribbean leaders, Jamaican prime minister Andrew Holness said he hoped Chogm would be an opportunity to “strengthen and possibly reset” the relationship between his country and UK.
“Sometimes, these ties – though they bind us together – sometimes they wane. Sometimes they don’t get the attention, so I see this as a great opportunity for us to rebuild the relationship to strengthen,” he said.