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THE HOME OFFICE’S bid to gag Windrush generation British citizens by getting them to sign non-disclosure agreements in return for compensation is disgraceful, shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said today.
Her comments were in response to the Home Office confirming that at least one person who suffered harm from its “hostile environment” immigration policies had been persuaded to sign a non-disclosure agreement and that at least one more had been approached to do so.
It refused to say how many people in total had been asked to sign.
Three weeks ago in the Commons, Home Secretary Sajid Javid insisted that “no-one will be asked to sign any kind of non-disclosure agreement or anything like that.”
Ms Abbott said: “The Windrush generation has been failed time and time again by this government. The Home Secretary promised to ‘do right’ by our fellow citizens from the Windrush generation, yet it appears he has gone back on his word.
“The Home Office must not attempt to buy the silence of citizens who have been so shockingly wronged and had their rights so gravely infringed in return for compensation that they are entitled to.
“It is totally unacceptable for the Home Office to impose non-disclosure agreements and gag those who have suffered at the hands of the hostile environment in order to cover up the true scale of the Windrush scandal.
“The Home Office must compensate all those who have suffered without further delay and without any form of non-disclosure agreement.”
Mr Javid has been condemned for dragging his feet over implementing an official scheme to compensate members of the Windrush generation and planning a payment cap.
Ms Abbott said: “It is an insult that the Home Secretary has still failed to even confirm when the promised compensation scheme will be up and running after so many of our fellow citizens have been left destitute, in debt and jobless by the government’s hostile environment.”
A decision on how the scheme will work will not be made until the end of the year, despite the fact that people have been left without healthcare and without money after losing their jobs and losing their benefits, having been evicted, wrongly detained or deported.
They were caught up in Prime Minister Theresa May’s “hostile environment” crackdown, announced when she was home secretary, unable to provide documents to bosses, landlords and the NHS to prove their right to remain in Britain despite living here for decades.
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