Sunday 5 July, 2020

Compensate those affected in Windrush generation scandal - Holness

Andrew Holness

Andrew Holness

Despite an apology and a promise of better treatment, including immunity from deportation by British Prime Minister, Theresa May, for the poor treatement meted out to the so-called Windrush generation, Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness believes she has not gone far enough.

In fact, Holness, has called on the United Kingdom to ensure “fair and just” compensation to people of that generation and their children, who have been harassed over their legal status in that country.

Holness made the call while speaking during an interview with international news agency, Financial Times, where he charged that the UK had deprived many of their rights, causing human suffering in the process.

The Jamaican Prime Minister recalled that some children of the Windrush generation, who moved from the Caribbean to the United Kingdom several decades ago, have been stopped from returning to Britain after recent visits to Jamaica.

He said that while he did not know of anyone in the Windrush generation being deported to Jamaica, some of their children had been unable to return to the UK.

“Not first generation Windrush, but their children . . . a few cases have been brought to my attention, not directly, not seeking my help directly,” said Holness.

According to him, many of those persons would have had to get attorneys to sort out their issues. He said he knows of at least one who successfully returned to the UK.

“It does leave a bad taste in the sense that Jamaicans were asked to leave Jamaica, invited to come here to work to rebuild the country after World War II, many having served in the army in the war, and are having now to be literally rejected and placed in a stateless category almost,” he said. “It does take away the dignity of the person and it must very well play upon the conscience of the country,” Holness told the Financial Times.

“We are very happy that it has reached a stage where it appears that there will be a fair and reasonable resolution,” he noted.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister May, in the face of mounting criticism over her party’s treatment of the Windrush generation, apologised to Caribbean leaders attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

Windrush is the name of the ship that carried the first Caribbean migrants to Britain in the late 1940s to help rebuild the country after the war. Many continued going until the 1970s but in recent times were asked to prove they have the right to remain in the UK.

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