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Windrush is still making waves

21 February, 2019 — By John Gulliver

Shamima Begum: Stripped of her UK citizenship. Picture: BBC

IS there a link – however tenuous – between the Home Office decision to strip Shamima Begum of her British citzenship and the deportations of the Windrush generation?

Questioned yesterday (Wednesday) in the Commons, home secretary Sajid Javid conceded that 150 Britons had been deprived of their citizenship since 2010.

Did the same cohort of Home Office civilians carry out the policy of the “hostile environment” – partly authored by the then home secretary Theresa May – that led to the scandalous expulsions of Caribbean citizens who had lived here for decades?

My enquiries also show a peculiar agreement has sprung up between the Home Office and Jamaica whereby we pay the Caribbean government £20,000 per deportee – a policy that would generate, in my opinion, a form of “bounty hunting”.

Michael Robinson – victim of the Windrush scandal

A victim of the “hostile” Home Office is Michael Braithwaite, 62, who lost his job as a teaching assistant at Gospel Oak primary school in 2016.

“I came to Britain when I was nine and all those years I thought I was British. Now, I was having sleepless nights wondering when they were going to deport me.”

His case was successfully resolved last year but the government pledge that victims of the Windrush scandal would be compensated for their ordeal has not materialised.

“My solicitors and union Unison have heard nothing from the Home Office,” he said. “It has been dragging on for a long time.”

He is one of the speakers at a meeting called by Highgate Labour Party –“Let’s talk about Windrush” – next Wednesday evening at St Pancras Church House, Lancing Street, King’s Cross.

Other speakers include Dr Lez Henry, professor at West London university, Hugo Pierre, Camden Unison, and lawyer Connie Sozi.

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