Friday 22 June 2018 / 12:01 AM Diane Abbott / Home Affairs

Labour calls for hardship fund to support Windrush citizens

Labour calls for hardship fund to support Windrush citizens who have been left destitute by Home Office’s hostile environment policy

Shadow Home Secretary Home Secretary Diane Abbott has today urged the Home Secretary to urgently introduce a hardship fund to support Windrush citizens.

Her intervention comes as the Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes, admitted that the government has “not decided any details of the [compensation] scheme” more than two months after the issue of compensation for Windrush citizens was raised in Parliament on 16th April.

The Home Office call for evidence on the Windrush compensation scheme closed on 8th June. The Home Office’s “full consultation” on the details of the scheme has not yet been announced, and the Home Secretary has not confirmed when the compensation scheme will be finalised and operational.

Commenting, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said:

“Today, as we mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush, many of our fellow citizens have been left destitute by the Home Office and the government’s hostile environment policy.

“They cannot wait months for a consultation to be concluded on the government’s promised compensation scheme. The Home Office’s hostile environment policy has left British citizens in debt, jobless, denied access to the benefits to which they are entitled and even homeless.

“The Home Secretary must act to urgently establish a hardship fund to support these people ahead of the promised compensation scheme, which will clearly not be up and running for months.

“The Home Secretary is dragging his feet and has failed to even confirm when the compensation scheme will finally be set up. This is totally unacceptable. If the Home Secretary is to keep his promise to put this crisis right then he needs to act now”.