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MPs ask Equality and Human Rights Commission to investigate Home Office over 'hostile environment' and Windrush

Date of Publication: 
2 May 2019
Summary: 

MPs call Windrush one of the gravest breaches of equality law in recent memory

MPs ask Equality and Human Rights Commission to investigate Home Office over 'hostile environment' and Windrush

02 May 2019
EIN

A group of 87 MPs this week referred the Home Office to the Equality and Human Rights Commission over the Windrush scandal.

According to the Guardian, the MPs sent a letter to the equalities watchdog requesting that it investigate whether the Government's so-called 'hostile environment' immigration policies represent institutional racism.

BBC News reported that the letter claims the Government broke, and is breaking, equalities law. David Lammy MP says in the letter that the Home Office is acting in breach of equalities legislation by "routinely" discriminating on the basis of race.

According to BBC News, the letter argues that the Government's hostile environment policy was "deeply discriminatory" and discriminates against black Britons. The letter says the Windrush scandal "represents one of the gravest breaches of equality law and the rights of British citizens in recent memory."

David Lammy was quoted by Guardian as saying: "The gross mishandling and abuse of the Windrush generation by the Home Office raises serious questions over whether British citizens were discriminated against on the basis of their race and ethnicity, in breach of equalities legislation.

"More than a year after I first raised this in parliament, nothing has changed. Justice must mean not only due compensation and reparation, but changes to the institution and immigration laws that created this crisis. This is why we are calling on the EHRC to investigate the Home Office and, in particular, the hostile environment legislation, which appears to have led to discriminatory treatment against ethnic minority British citizens."

According to BBC News, the Equality and Human Rights Commission said it would consider the issues raised by the MPs.

In response to the MPs' letter, a spokeswoman for the Home Office was quoted by BBC News as saying: "The Home Secretary and the immigration minister are committed to righting the wrongs experienced by the Windrush generation and the recently launched compensation scheme is a crucial step in delivering on that commitment."