UK Politics

PM to hold ‘Windrush’ meeting after U-turn

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A Downing Street U-turn will see Theresa May now meet with Caribbean leaders over problems faced by "Windrush" generation UK residents.

The Prime Minister had come under pressure after it was revealed a request for talks by Commonwealth heads of government had initially been turned down.

Caribbean leaders have expressed concern at immigration problems suffered by those who have lived in Britain for the majority of their lives, but have recently encountered difficulties when finding work, accessing NHS care or trying to secure housing.

It comes after a recent tightening of UK immigration law saw long-time British residents, who arrived in the UK from the Caribbean after the Second World War, face demands for documentation.

Immigration minister Caroline Nokes also appeared to confirm reports some people have even been deported as a result of not having the right paperwork, as she spoke of "horrendous situations".

But, Ms Nokes added to ITV News: "I don't know the numbers, but what I am determined to do going forward is to say we will have no more of this.

"We want people to have confidence to come to the Home Office, we want to give them a message of reassurance, because we value these people."

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott demanded an apology from the Prime Minister over the problems faced by Windrush generation residents, while her fellow Labour MP David Lammy secured an urgent question in Parliament on the controversy.

"It is an absolute scandal that the Home Office doesn't even know how many people they have wrongly deported," Ms Abbott said.

"Theresa May must apologise for this mess which has taken place as a direct consequence of the hostile environment she created.

"As Home Secretary, she removed the rules protecting Commonwealth citizens and as Prime Minister she has completely ignored the issue.

"The Windrush Generation must have their rights as British citizens confirmed, any who have been deported must be invited back to the UK immediately and those who oversaw their deportations must be held to account."

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It is estimated as many as 50,000 Windrush generation UK residents are facing problems, with the row escalating as Caribbean leaders arrived in London for the start of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) this week.

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