Windrush scandal: MPs react to Home Affairs Committee report

The Home Office has held or attended more than 25 Windrush engagement events across the country sinc

Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali and East Ham MP Stephen Timms have condemned the Home Office's handling of the Windrush scandal - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

East London MPs have condemned the Home Office's handling of the Windrush scandal following a damning report.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme was set up in 2019 after it emerged that, despite living and working in the UK for decades, many of the Windrush generation were detained or deported.

The Home Affairs Committee announced today (November 24) that "the vast majority of people who applied for compensation have yet to receive a penny".

As of September, only 20 per cent of the estimated 15,000 eligible claimants had applied to the scheme and just 5pc had received compensation.

The report showed 23 people have died "before they received any compensation for the hardship they endured at the hands of the Home Office".

Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali called the findings a "disgrace" and called for an independent agency to oversee the compensation scheme.

Ms Ali said: "The Home Office cannot be trusted to run this scheme.

Most Read

"Their mishandling of the compensation scheme compounds the injustice of the Windrush scandal, instead of supporting its victims."

The committee's report found a "litany of flaws" in the design and operation of the scheme including an "excessive burden on claimants to provide documentary evidence of losses, long delays in processing, poor communication and inadequate staffing". 

East Ham MP Stephen Timms is the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Immigration Law and Policy, which looked at Windrush and Toeic - the test used to check English language proficiency - over the past year.

Mr Timms said: “In March last year, the Home Office published the Windrush Lessons Learned Review.

"It highlighted – very starkly – some of the deep problems which were pervasive in the Home Office. In the foreword, the home secretary made some encouraging promises.

“Today’s report shows that little has changed. Many of the Windrush victims are still being penalised by the systemic culture of failure in the Home Office.

"They are being asked to provide evidence via an onerous and lengthy application process which is causing great hardship."

Mr Timms added that he hopes the government will "introduce a similar scheme" to compensate victims of the Toeic scandal.

The Home Office has been contacted for comment.