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Emma Reynolds MP: Windrush apology 'too little too late'

By Pete Madeley | Wolverhampton | Politics | Published:

The Government's apology for its 'shameful' treatment of the Windrush generation is 'too little too late', Emma Reynolds has said.

Wolverhampton North East MP Emma Reynolds

The Labour MP hit out at Theresa May after it emerged that some people who arrived from the Commonwealth decades ago had been wrongly identified as illegal immigrants.

They include Wolverhampton grandmother Paulette Wilson, who was detained in an immigration removal centre and threatened with deportation despite having lived in Britain for 50 years.

Wolverhampton grandmother Paulette Wilson

On Monday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd apologised for her Government's 'appalling' actions towards Windrush-era citizens and announced a new Home Office team to deal with their issues.

But Wolverhampton North East MP Ms Reynolds said it was 'shameful' that the Government had taken so long to act.

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She has called for the publication of how many Commonwealth-born, long-term UK residents had been deported and detained in error by the Home Office over the last five years.

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"The Windrush generation came over to help rebuild Britain in the post-war period and we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude," Ms Reynolds said.

"Those children who came over, like Paulette Wilson, feel British and they are British. They have been treated in an appalling manner.

"Many have been fearful of coming forward and trying to regularise their status and others have been detained and threatened with deportation.

"It is right that the Home Secretary has apologised, and I welcome the new team that she has set up, but this is all too little, too late.

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"The Government needs to come clean about how many of this Windrush generation have been detained and how many have been deported."

Jamaican immigrants being welcomed by RAF officials in 1948

In January Ms Reynolds submitted a written parliamentary question asking how many Commonwealth citizens legally residing in the UK had been deported and detained in error over the last five years.

In response Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes refused to provide the information, insisting that doing so would be too costly.

Ms Reynolds said: "This is a pretty shameful answer from the Minister as all the department would need to do is look at a person's date of birth and country of origin.

"We have still not been told what the extent of the problem has been. If there has been deportations they need to put that right."

She added: "This goes beyond the people who have been detained and deported. There has been problems with people accessing pensions, benefits and healthcare.

"It is also about people's rights to public services. The Government has serious questions to answer over why it has taken so long for them to attempt to deal with this problem."

Pete Madeley

By Pete Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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