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Misery of immigration scandal facing older citizens

12 April, 2018

Michael Braithwaite lost his job at Gospel Oak school during an immigration crackdown

THOUSANDS of people who came to these shores from the Commonwealth since the 1950s must be asking themselves for the first time: Are we safe from deportation?

Since Theresa May as home secretary changed the immi­gra­tion rules, the noose has tight­ened around former Com­mon­wealth citizens who have been working here for decades.

The misery Michael Braithwaite has endured for two years after losing his job at Gospel Oak school illustrates the growing scandal facing the older generations. Many of them, who never thought they needed a British passport, are being asked to produce documentary proof of their right to live in the UK – and in most cases the burden of proof is too high to be mounted.

Mr Braithwaite has had his British status confirmed after a fierce battle. Others have been less fortunate. In one case, a man was denied radiotherapy on the NHS for his prostrate cancer. Last week, an Asian doctor was reported to be facing deportation – and, this at a time when Britain is desperately short of doctors.

Though Mr Braithwaite worked at Gospel Oak school his employers would have been Camden Council and as such their responsibility needs to be investigated. If Town Hall officials had processed the correspondence leading to his dismissal, shouldn’t councillors have been made aware of it? They appear to have been kept in ignorance.

Party tensions

WHILE both the Labour and Conservative manifestos for the looming local elections contain seductive promises, it is largely recognised Labour will be returned to power.

Labour’s manifesto is there­fore coming under sharper scrutiny – especially from the left of the party. Fears by the campaign group Momentum that their suggestions for a radical rethink of old policies would be overlooked appear to have been substantiated.

This came to a head on Monday when Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn repeated recent statements emphasising the need to return services to Town Hall control, a policy sought by local Momentum members.

But in the 32 pages of the manifesto there appears to be only one allusion to Jeremy Corbyn’s message, on page six, and it is a vague one. “We will critically challenge the outsourcing services and commit to finding new ways to work together,” say the anonymous authors.

Camden Momentum members contrast this with Islington’s robust pursuit of the restoration of local public services, and the creation of an energy company, Angelic.

This rift between Momen­tum and the Labour leadership is unlikely to disappear. The pros and cons of the argument will continue to bleed into local politics, the more so as Islington’s “public ownership” policies gather steam.

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