LABOUR MP David Lammy has questioned home secretary Sajid Javid’s decision to deport people to Jamaica before the Windrush inquiry was completed.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday(5), Lammy branded the deportations as nothing less than a national scandal. In an impassioned speech, he asked, “Why is it that still in this country black lives matter less?”
Lammy’s remark came after it emerged that a further 18 people were wrongly sent back to the Caribbean.
“Every single one of these cases is a shocking indictment of your government’s pandering to a far-right racism, sham immigration targets and the dog-whistle of the right-wing press,” Lammy said.
“We are now ten months on from when this scandal broke. Not a penny has been paid out to any Windrush victim in a compensation scheme. The independent Windrush lessons review has not yet reported,” said Lammy.
Javid responded saying those deported were foreign national offenders and that “every single one of them [was] convicted of a serious crime.”
Javid said he was committed righting the wrongs of Windrush citizens.
Hitting back at Lammy, the home secretary further added that the Labour MP “does himself a huge disservice in the way that he speaks and the tone that he’s used to suggest there is even an ounce of racism in this House.”
Meanwhile, Javid has been accused of “misleading” the House of Commons by claiming they were all convicted of “very serious crimes […] like rape and murder, fire arms offences and drug trafficking”.
Information provided by the Movement for Justice about 26 of the deportees claims that only one was convicted of rape. None of them were convicted of murder and others were jailed for offences such as drugs possession and minor assault.
Minnie Rahman, public affairs and campaigns manager at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, told the Independent that Javid’s comments were “not only misleading but a clear attempt to distract attention from the cruel deportation of people who have lived in the UK their entire lives”.