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Call for inquiry into racism in the Home Office after Windrush report

A group of 16 anti-racism organisations has said that the Windrush report on the scandal shows that there are still ‘institutional failures to understand racism’ taking place in the Home Office.

The alliance of anti-racism groups has called for an investigation to be launched into the extent of racism which still exists inside the Home Office. This comes in response to the damning report on the Windrush scandal.

The long-awaited report revealed how British citizens were dismissed from their jobs, deprived of essential services such as NHS care, and even wrongly deported.

The Windrush report concluded that not only had the Home Office demonstrated ignorance, but they had also shown thoughtlessness towards race issues. The report brought an official apology from Priti Patel, home secretary. The report also brought to light the government’s ‘hostile environment’ concerning the immigration policy and led to the eventual resignation of the home secretary at the time, Amber Rudd.

The alliance of 16 anti-racial groups responded by calling for the policies to be further scrutinised in order to show any ongoing discrimination.

Deputy director of the Runnymede Trust, Zubaida Haque stated that the government needed to analyse the Home Office culture, which repeatedly discriminated against black and minority British citizens.

Ms Haque commented that the report showed very clearly that the injustices which occurred did not happen by accident. They were a result of a huge institutional failure to deal with race and racism in society.

The Windrush report blamed the Home Office for maintaining a culture of disbelief and carelessness with failings which were consistent with elements of racism. Many British citizens lost their jobs (which some had held for over 50 years) and many were wrongly deported.

Mr Elwado Romeo aged 65 was the recipient of a letter telling him that he would be detained despite having moved to the UK 57 years earlier when he was 4 years of age. Likewise, Mr Braithwaite, 68 was fired from a job as a special needs teaching assistant after working at the school for 15 years.

Mr Romeo commented that after two years after the report the UK still has Windrush people living in dustbins and airports. ‘Why is this?’ he asks.

The shadow home secretary Diane Abbott responded on behalf of the Labour Party that because there are still elements of institutional racism at the Home Office, there needs to be a complete overhaul and change of culture.

The investigation and report, which came after many months of reporting by the Guardian states that the Windrush scandal was avoidable with warning signs caused by the immigration policies being ‘racially insensitive’ being blatantly ignored.

Wendy Williams, author of the report said after the investigation that there had been a tendency to blame the individuals who were caught up in regulations over immigration. They were unable to show evidence of their status in the UK and could not easily obtain the correct documentation.

The alliance of the 16 anti-racial groups is determined to continue scrutinising the immigration policies as well as the culture of racism within the Home Office.

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