Jeremy Corbyn takes Theresa May apart at PMQs over her ‘shameful’ role in the Windrush scandal

Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May at PMQs
Kerry-anne Mendoza

Jeremy Corbyn took Theresa May and her government to task at today’s Prime Ministers Question Time (PMQs). The prime minister attempted to dodge responsibility for her part in the Windrush scandal, but in moments, Corbyn took her excuses apart.

The Windrush scandal

After the Second World War, labour shortages meant there was plenty of work in UK industries and the public sector. So parliament passed the British Nationality Act in 1948 and gave British citizenship to all people living in Commonwealth countries. This law granted them full rights of entry and settlement in Britain, and the first arrivals were 492 immigrants from the Caribbean. The ship HMT Empire Windrush brought them here and also gave them their nickname – ‘the Windrush generation’:

While home secretary, Theresa May passed an immigration bill which undid the rights of the Windrush generation. Jeremy Corbyn was one of a handful of Labour MPs who voted against the bill at the time.

People have lost their jobs, been denied life-saving treatment from the NHS, and even been deported. It was only after the scandal made headlines that May and her home secretary Amber Rudd were forced to U-turn. But people are still being deported, and those who have already been deported face an almost impossible journey home.

Theresa May’s role

It later emerged that the Home Office had deliberately destroyed the registration slips of Windrush citizens. This has made it impossible for many to prove their citizenship. But May laid the blame at Labour’s door, claiming it was decided under the Brown government in 2009. It took mere moments to fact check this as false.

Jeremy Corbyn’s response

The Labour leader was in no mood for May’s excuses, saying:

This is a shameful episode, and the responsibility for it lies firmly at the prime minister’s door.

Her pandering to bogus immigration targets led to a ‘hostile environment’ for people contributing to our country. It led to British citizens being denied NHS treatment, losing their jobs, homes, and pensions, thrown into detention centres like criminals and even deported. Vital historical records shredded and ministers blaming officials…

Isn’t the truth… that under her the home office became heartless and hopeless?

And doesn’t she now run a government that is both callous and incompetent?

 

Theresa May will be hoping she doesn’t pay the price for this at the local elections on 3 May.

Get Involved!

– Support the Stop Funding Hate campaign. Demand that advertisers withdraw funding from newspapers and websites that promote hate speech.

– Support the work of Hope Not Hate.

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

– Read and support other independent media outlets:

Media DiversifiedNovara MediaCorporate WatchRed PepperNew InternationalistCommon SpaceMedia LensBella CaledoniaVox PoliticalEvolve PoliticsReal MediaReel NewsSTRIKE! magazineThe Bristol CableThe Meteor, The SkwawkboxSalford StarThe Ferret.

Featured image via screen grab

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed