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Theresa May: 'I'm sorry to Windrush grandmother' - WATCH

By Pete Madeley | Politics | Published:

The Prime Minister has apologised to Wolverhampton grandmother Paulette Wilson in the wake of the Windrush scandal.

Theresa May visited the E&S's Queen Street offices in Wolverhampton

Jamaica-born Mrs Wilson was threatened with deportation and locked up in an immigration centre despite having lived in the UK for 50 years.

On a visit to the city, Theresa May said she was sorry for Mrs Wilson's treatment and vowed to ensure that everybody from the Windrush generation received the official documents they need.

WATCH the interview with Theresa May

Theresa May : 'I'm sorry to Windrush grandmother'

The Government has been accused of 'institutional racism' over its immigration policy, which has seen Commonwealth citizens and their children denied welfare support and threatened with expulsion despite legally living in Britain for decades.

Mrs Wilson, aged 61, was told in January that she could stay in the UK. She had been branded an illegal immigrant in 2015 and spent a week detained in Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre last October.

The Prime Minister told the Express & Star: "Of course I am sorry to Paulette for what has happened, as I'm sorry to anybody from the Windrush generation who has had a bad experience or who is anxious because of what has happened."

Wolverhampton grandmother Paulette Wilson

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She added: "The Windrush generation helped to build this country and they have a right to be here. They are British, they are part of us.

"When they came over the Government at the time did not give them documents to show their right to be here. We need to address that situation.

"Many people now have documents, but the Home Office has set up a special team so anybody from the Windrush generation who is worried should get in touch with the Home Office.

"They are there to work with them to ensure they get the documents they need. This is a generation that is part of us, they are British, they have contributed to this country.

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"I want everybody to be reassured about that and I'm sorry for the anxiety that has been caused."

Mrs Wilson, who arrived in Britain in 1968 and has worked all her life, received a letter telling her she was an illegal immigrant last year.

The Home Office said she was granted indefinite leave to remain 'once she 'made the correct application and provided evidence of her residency in the UK'.

Mrs May has said that members of the Windrush generation who have been treated unfairly by the Home Office would be compensated 'where appropriate'.

During her visit to the region Mrs May stopped off at the Express & Star's Queen Street offices. She also visited Boss Design in Dudley and met with Conservative campaigners in Sedgley.

In her interview with the E&S, the Prime Minister also set out her thoughts on the collapse of Carillion – including the Government's plans for the Midland Metropolitan Hospital – and reaffirmed her Brexit policy on the UK's customs union membership.

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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