More than 3,000 people have been granted British citizenship under a scheme set up following the Windrush scandal.

Since May 2018, members of the Windrush generation – including their UK-born children and those who arrived in the country as minors – have been able to apply for citizenship for free.

As of the end of December, a total of 3,406 people have been granted citizenship.

A furious backlash broke out over the treatment of members of the Windrush generation, named after a ship that brought migrants to the UK from the Caribbean in 1948.

Commonwealth citizens who arrived before 1973 were automatically granted indefinite leave to remain.

However, many of them were not issued with any documents confirming their status.

It emerged that long-term UK residents were denied access to services, held in detention or removed despite living legally in the country for decades.

preview image

The latest statistics up to 31 December 2018 – detailed in a letter sent by Home Secretary Sajid Javid to the Commons home affairs committee, show:

:: 2,453 people were given documentation confirming their right to remain in the UK

:: The Home Office’s dedicated task force had refused 384 applications made under the Windrush scheme

:: Sixteen requests were made for urgent support. Out of these, 10 were being considered, one had been approved, and five declined

:: 131 individuals were traced out of 164 identified in a review of historical removals and detentions.

An apology has already been made by the government over 18 cases where people were considered most likely to have suffered “detriment” because their right to be in the UK was not recognised.

Preparations are also been made by ministers to set up a compensation scheme for those affected by the failings.

Sajid Javid has made a 'personal commitment' to ensure Jack Shepherd is caught
Image: Sajid Javid says he is ‘entirely focused on righting the wrongs experienced by the Windrush generation’

Mr Javid said: “I continue to believe it is important that we take a cross-party approach which recognises the most important thing we can do is ensure the wrongs which some members of the Windrush generation have faced are put right.

“I can reassure members that my department remains entirely focused on righting the wrongs experienced by the Windrush generation.”

Yvette Cooper, who chairs the home affairs committee, said it was “very disturbing” and “shocking” that only one person had been helped through a special hardship fund by the end of the year.

The Labour MP added: “There have been too many delays setting up the hardship scheme in the first place, and the compensation scheme still isn’t in place.

“Given that we know the pressure many Windrush families have faced as a result of Home Office failures and mistakes, the government should be providing far more support, far more swiftly than this.”

Leave a Reply