David Lammy MP

It’s been more than two years since I challenged Amber Rudd in the House of Commons over the Windrush Scandal. Confronting a government that couldn’t even tell us how many people had lost their jobs, kicked out of their homes, been denied medical care, detained or deported, I said it was a day of national shame. In truth, it was only the beginning.

It wasn’t until the following year when the Windrush Compensation Scheme was officially launched. Insufficient, delayed and overly complex, I made my grievances about the compensation scheme heard.

 

At the same, time, however, I also want to emphasise just how important it is that you reach out to receive this compensation. To anybody who was affected by this scandal, please apply so that you can receive the financial compensation you are owed. The scheme is still online, and it will remain so until April 2023. Please get in contact with Citizens Advice, who can help you with the forms and offer support over the phone and in person. This service is available to people living in the UK, as well as to those who are overseas.

The Windrush citizens can never be repaid. These are people who had been denied a lifetime of employment, housing, citizenship, wealth and opportunity. There is no financial settlement that will restore the dignity that your own government took from you. Those citizens who were detained, deported, made destitute, jobless, or homeless will never truly be repaid. There is no amount of money that will reverse years of pain from family separation. There is no reimbursement that will rectify state-sanctioned brutality.

Seeking compensation is just the beginning of a long process of national self-reflection, repentance and justice, but I encourage you to take this first step. It’s the least you deserve.

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