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Labour demands Windrush document release

Diane Abbott says 'all roads lead to Theresa May' over responsibility for illegal deportations of British citizens

LABOUR demanded the government hand over information about the development of its immigration policy following the Windrush scandal in a parliamentary debate today.

The party insisted documents of correspondences between ministers, officials and special advisers must be revealed in a bid to expose exactly what Prime Minister Theresa May knew about the scandal.

Labour is seeking a “humble address” to the Queen, which would require the release of all correspondence – including text messages and emails – between ministers, officials and special advisers between May 2010 and 2018 relating to the Windrush generation cases.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott opened the opposition day debate by reminding ministers about the history of the Windrush generation and what led to the deportations.

“All roads lead back to Prime Minister Theresa May,” she said.

“It was the Prime Minister who was responsible for some of the worst aspects of the hostile environment. It was the Prime Minister who initiated the notorious 'go home' immigration vans.

“It was the Prime Minister who introduced the deport first, appeal later regime. And we know from documents in the public domain that it was the Prime Minister who set deportation targets.”

Tory MPs attempted to divert attention from the Windrush scandal by asking Ms Abbott about illegal immigration.

However, Ms Abbott pointed out that the debate was being watched all over the Commonwealth and so it was important to ensure that the Windrush generation was the focus.

She said: “Government members and the government's frontbench would far prefer to talk about illegal immigration than talk about the plight of the Windrush generation.”

Ms Abbott concluded by telling ministers that the Windrush scandal was not a “hiccup” but an intended policy.

She said: "Unless the government formally changes its policies, we on this side of the House will be clear, and this country will know, that its treatment of the Windrush generation was not an aberration. It was not a hiccup, it was the predicted consequence of a policy that they intend to continue with."

Mr Javid said he will do “whatever it takes” to put it right, adding: “With respect of this motion, it does not mean that we divert our time and effort into a massive, open-ended fishing expedition.”

Voting was expected after the Morning Star went to press.

 

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