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Home Office should be stripped of responsibility for the Windrush compensation scheme after ‘litany of flaws’

PRITI PATEL’S Home Office should be stripped of responsibility for the Windrush compensation scheme after a “litany of flaws” was discovered by MPs today.

The cross-party Commons home affairs committee said the scheme should be transferred to an independent organisation to increase trust and encourage more applications.

MPs said the scheme’s design contained the same “bureaucratic insensitivities” that led to the scandal, which was a “damning indictment of the Home Office.”

The scheme was set up in April 2019 to compensate members of the Windrush generation who were wrongly denied lawful immigration status as a result of Home Office policies.

As of September, only 20.1 per cent of the 15,000 eligible claimants had applied, 5.8 per cent had received payment and 23 individuals had died without compensation.

The report claimed it was “deeply troubling” that the Home Office “has repeated the same mistakes,” calling the scandal “truly shameful.”

MPs wrote: “No amount of compensation could ever repay the fear, the humiliation and the hurt that was caused both to individuals and to communities affected.”

Opposition leaders said the Tories have repeatedly chosen not to act on this issue.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said the scheme was an offensive mess that was heaping insult upon injustice. 

He called for Ms Patel to place the scheme under independent leadership so “confidence can be rebuilt and those who suffered injustice can receive the compensation they so rightly deserve.”

A Home Office spokeswoman said Ms Patel and the department remain steadfast in their commitment to ensure members of the Windrush generation receive every penny of compensation that they are entitled to.

She said: “We firmly believe that moving the operation of the scheme out of the Home Office would risk significantly delaying vital payments to those affected.”

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