Sajid Javid’s appalling admission reveals the government’s ignorant treatment of Windrush generation

Windrush Veterans (left) Sajid Javid on Andrer Marr show (right)
Nathan Griffiths

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has admitted that the government has no idea how many Windrush citizens have been denied NHS treatment. This comes only a week after it was revealed that three wrongly deported Windrush citizens died awaiting their return home to the UK.

Sajid Stumped

During the interview on the Andrew Marr Show, Javid struggled with questioning regarding the government’s treatment of Windrush citizens.

Marr spoke of Windrush citizens being wrongfully arrested and deported before outlining how else they’ve been mistreated, stating:

They might have lost their access to housing, lost their access to banking, they haven’t been able to work; their lives have been turned upside down

Javid responded, saying his government needs “to help them”. Marr then asked more specifically: “Do you know how many people… have been denied NHS treatment because of the Windrush scandal?”, to which Javid admitted he doesn’t know the number:

we don’t have an exact number on that, I wouldn’t even want to guess what that is

Hostile Environment

The Immigration Act 2014 required the NHS to clamp down on providing services for illegal immigrants.

The act pushes the NHS to check patients have the correct documentation to be in the UK legally. This is to ensure free healthcare isn’t given to illegal immigrants.

Windrush citizens are entitled to free NHS care. However, historical errors meant the Home Office failed to keep accurate records of those entitled to stay and claim NHS treatment. The home office also failed to issue Windrush citizens with sufficient paperwork to prove their legal status. Therefore, before the 2014 Immigration Act, it was possible that the Windrush citizens without documentation could claim free NHS care. However, under the Act, Windrush citizens without sufficient documentation were not able to do so.

Shameful lack of progress

The Immigration Act 2014 and Theresa May’s hostile environment have denied NHS treatment to many members of the Windrush generation, including the three that had passed away waiting to return to the UK. Javid’s admission shows that despite claims he will help Windrush citizens, the Tories’ attitude continues to be callous and incompetent.

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Nathan Griffiths