The Windrush scandal, which broke in April 2018, exposed how people were wrongly detained, denied legal rights, threatened with deportation, and wrongly deported from the UK by the Home Office.

Many individuals and families in Haringey were impacted.

A compensation scheme was announced in December 2018. Many of those caught up in this scandal expressed concern that the Home Office would be managing this scheme as it was the department responsible for the scandal in the first place.

Human Rights Watch reported this April that these concerns were more than justified. The process has proved so bureaucratic that claimants have died waiting for their claims to be processed.

As campaigner Patrick Vernon OBE noted:

"Having gone through the scandal, the Government is effectively saying to lots of compensation claimants that they can’t see any evidence, financially or emotionally, that they’ve been impacted by the ordeal, so, therefore, can’t give them money.”

Ham & High: Vivek Lehal says Haringey Stand up to Racism supports those affected by the Windrush scandalVivek Lehal says Haringey Stand up to Racism supports those affected by the Windrush scandal (Image: Vivek Lehal)

Claimants have been denied legal aid to pursue their claims.

In 2018, solicitor Wendy Williams issued a report into the scandal with 30 recommendations to the Home Office that would see the department acknowledge its failings, allow independent scrutiny and develop a more humane culture. The former home secretary, Priti Patel, accepted all of these recommendations.

To add insult to injury, the current home secretary, Suella Braverman, has refused to implement three of the recommendations. The Black Equality Organisation (BEO) is seeking a judicial review of the Home Secretary’s decision. Legal submissions from the charity describe Ms Braverman's decision as limiting robust scrutiny of the Home Office, shutting victims out of the reconciliation process and continuing to run the compensation scheme without adequate consideration of the needs of claimants.

As Mr Vernon said:

“We call on the Government to implement all recommendations of Lessons Learned Review and to establish a process to transfer Windrush Compensation scheme to an independent body or agency to build confidence and fast track payments to survivors and family members.”

Haringey Stand up to Racism stands with all those affected by the Windrush scandal in Haringey and beyond and supports the demand for the Home Office to implement all the recommendations of the Williams’ report in full. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Vivek Lehal is secretary of Haringey Stand up to Racism.