Theresa May’s shame: Home Office destroyed vital #WindrushGeneration data – then demanded it as proof of their right to stay in the UK

Accused of racism: Theresa May.

As if the revelation that Home Secretary Amber Rudd doesn’t know how many people have been wrongly deported from the UK as a result of the policy of hatred towards immigrants that she implemented after it was legalised by Theresa May, we have new evidence of Conservative depravity.

If you haven’t heard this already, it will shock you:

Home Office civil servants who have been demanding that people show documents proving a right to be in the UK before they can take up work, rent properties, access healthcare, or claim benefits destroyed those documents themselves.

Here’s Amelia Gentleman of The Guardian to explain:

“The Home Office destroyed thousands of landing card slips recording Windrush immigrants’ arrival dates in the UK, despite staff warnings that the move would make it harder to check the records of older Caribbean-born residents experiencing residency difficulties.

“A former Home Office employee said the records, stored in the basement of a government tower block, were a vital resource for case workers when they were asked to find information about someone’s arrival date in the UK from the West Indies – usually when the individual was struggling to resolve immigration status problems.

“The former employee (who has asked for his name not to be printed) said it was decided in 2010 to destroy the disembarkation cards… Employees in his department told their managers it was a bad idea, because these papers were often the last remaining record of a person’s arrival date, in the event of uncertainty or lost documents. The files were destroyed in October that year, when Theresa May was home secretary.”

Often the last remaining record.

People have lost jobs and homes. They have been jailed:

And they have been forced out of the country because Theresa May destroyed the evidence that they were here legally and then changed the law so they were required to produce it.

There can be only one conclusion:

The outrage among the public is palpable:

Ms Rudd offered a (very weak) apology in Parliament on Monday, and Mrs May offered a further apology yesterday. But the public mood is unforgiving:

Yes it should.

Instead, we are presented with further evidence of Tory indifference to the agony they have inflicted. Not only are they unaware of the number of British citizens they have deported; they say it would be too expensive to find out and will only check cases on an individual basis. After that is done, they say they will only offer an apology if a mistake is found to have been made.

But it seems they are lying:

This is, of course, a result of the “hostile environment” immigration policy championed by our racist prime minister, Theresa May, back when she was Home Secretary. People have had a lot to say about that:

Here are some facts that will make you angry:

Now that this is known, some people are drawing an obvious conclusion:


“There, but for the grace of God, go I,” said James O’Brien in the video towards the top of this article. Some have made that perfectly clear – because all of us have immigrant blood, somewhere in our ancestry:

And there are wider implications. The government that has treated people from foreign lands in this way is currently negotiating the UK’s departure from the European Union. How can that possibly end well?

And how will it affect our relationship with Commonwealth countries after Brexit?

Oh, and there’s one more point to be made.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, a man who has been repeatedly smeared as a racist – in some cases by members of his own party – despite a spotless record in this regard, voted against the Act of Parliament that caused this scandal.

He said: “We have ordained that the Home Secretary will have executive power to take away citizenship in the future and to create a generation of stateless people. The handing over of that power is, I think, a very dangerous thing for any Parliament to do.”

He went on to identify the very issues which have caused tragedy for the Windrush generation now: the forced removal of people, the use of the detention system, the denial of health care access, and landlords becoming agents of the Home Office.

He was right; Theresa May was wrong.

I know it won’t happen, but he should be demanding her resignation and that of her entire government. She has voided her right to rule. We need a proper prime minister now.

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15 thoughts on “Theresa May’s shame: Home Office destroyed vital #WindrushGeneration data – then demanded it as proof of their right to stay in the UK

  1. Stu

    Just yet another example of the Tories not apologising for their actions but apologising for getting found out.
    This was a cruel and calculated act, not simply an oversight against what are in my experience, people who are probably the most loyal British Citizens we have ever had.

  2. Barry Davies

    I don’t see that landing cards are the only means of proving residence, all they show is you filled out a card or someone did it for you on a certain date. I have landing cards filled out for many nations I don’t live in. However there should be other evidence such as national insurance number, and tax payments. Child allowance payments etc. Also voting registration local taxation and records As the woman referred to was 11 when she come there should be school registration records so a single document is not the only method of proving legal entitlement to remain.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      So you disagree with the Home Office, then? You do realise that we’re discussing documents that would show when a person arrived in the UK? I’m not sure the other documents you mention would do that.

    2. Dez

      I am sure there is much evidence that the Home Office could have easily harvested from their many Government information sources but from the select TV interviews so far seen the whole emphasis was on the victim to prove their rights. The Home Office did not do diddly squat to easily assist in clearing up this mess that May set in motion despite it seems common sense advice from their own civil servant teams. Nothing new there then. Another case of May actually being a bull in a china shop despite bragging the Home Office was in safe hands when she was in charge……Eeeerr like the NHS is also currently in similar safe hands under that useless Hunt. Hopefully some of those border line Con voters will see the error of their ways in voting in what must be the worst batch of incompetent pleb bashing ever allowed to laughably run this Country.

    3. Annik Piriou

      I would not be able to prove anything, having been to ten different schools in this country and having no proof of anything at all. It’s only because my mother came back to the UK to have me and my sister that I’m not in the same boat ( so to speak) and I’m deeply sad and angry that people are being treated in this way.

  3. aunty1960

    Well, how come I am not surprised, but a very basic insultingly obvious way of destroying evidence and information.

    What else have they destroyed?

    Documentation is highly essential for accurate accountability and historic recording

    even when government has done wrong or dubious and not released until 30 50 100 years later the account and records still need to be there.

    Totally bloody insulting way of government to behave

    But do not forget shredders agogo during Labour as well, up to last minute all the shredding of accounts and expenses and documentation on wars decisions and stuff etc.

    Oh Yeah and was not documentation missing when demanding govt give true stats of deaths of disabled due to assessments.

    Government rules with on the spot spin and incompetence which they then cover up, deny or shred.

    Its embarrassing. shamed to be British.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No – documentation on deaths following disability/sickness benefit assessments. It simply wasn’t collected.

      I’d like to see your evidence that Labour shredded anything. You should not make wild accusations about Labour if you can’t back them up.

    1. NMac

      Absolutely agree with you Roland. These nasties knew exactly what they were doing. They have been rumbled and are squirming and trying to deny their nastiness.

  4. Stu

    According to May in PMQ, the destruction was Labour’s idea in 2009, if even true she had the power to prevent it but didn’t – so that pathetic reply was pointless.

    I choose to take the same stance as the Government took with the Russia and Syria where their assumptions are based upon previous actions – so based on past actions I choose to believe that May is lying through her teeth as ever.

  5. Ian McGibbon

    It is an appalling situation and blaming officials in the Home Office for it is shocking.

    Just as shocking as blaming the civil servants for the pensions policy.

    Oh, gosh.

  6. Pat Sheehan

    So, the ‘vicar’s’ daughter was a ‘racist’ all along: just lurking behind that thin veil of pious righteousness that so many ‘establishment’ pillars and sycophants seek shelter by. She also has trouble with sick and disabled and jobless and homeless people too it seems but give it all a veneer of respectability with a smidgen of upper class religiosity and you have the classic cover for a ‘noble crusade’: even against basic welfare. Getting some bombs out there too whilst the going was too good to miss and you get to see who the real zealots and bigots are! This time ‘she’ has to resign: doesn’t she? They all have to resign: don’t they? How bad does it really have to get? How bad?

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