Government reveals more than 5,000 potential Windrush cases – but says anyone rejected has no right to appeal

Labour MP voices ‘extreme concern’ over Home Office guidance indicating those people refused by the scheme will have no right to review

May Bulman
Social Affairs Correspondent
Thursday 24 May 2018 18:02 BST
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Sajid Javid answers questions on Windrush cases

The Home Office has revealed more than 5,000 people have been identified as potential Windrush cases – but says they will have no right to appeal if they are rejected under the scheme.

A dedicated taskforce set up in the wake of the scandal, which came to a head five weeks ago, has so far taken more than 13,000 calls, of which 5,000 have been identified as potential cases and more than 850 have been granted documentation following an appointment with the team.

But guidance issued as part of a package of measures – designed to process citizenship applications for Commonwealth nationals who settled in the UK before 1973 – by Sajid Javid, the home secretary, revealed those rejected under the scheme “will not attract a right of appeal or an administrative review”.

Yvette Cooper, Labour MP and chairperson of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, said: “I’m extremely concerned they rule out any appeals or reviews of Windrush decisions. Given the history of this, how can anyone trust Home Office not to make further mistakes?

“If the home secretary is confident that senior caseworkers will be making good decisions in Windrush cases, he has nothing to fear about appeals and reviews.”

It comes after Mr Javid revealed 63 cases of Caribbean nationals who may have been removed from the country despite living in the UK legally for decades.

The home secretary said free citizenship applications for children of the Windrush generation who joined their parents before they turned 18 and free confirmation of the existing British citizenship for children born to the Windrush generation in the UK would now commence.

People applying for citizenship under the scheme would need to meet the good character requirements in place for all citizenship applications, but would not need to take the knowledge of language and life in the UK test or attend a citizenship ceremony.

Mr Javid said the scheme covered the government’s commitment to help members of the Windrush generation who are looking to return to the UK after spending recent years back in their home countries, with these people also able to apply for the relevant documentation free of charge.

He also confirmed that non-Commonwealth citizens who settled in the UK before 1973 and people who arrived between 1973 and 1988 who have an existing right to be in the UK are not expected to pay for the documentation they need to prove their indefinite leave to remain.

Mr Javid said: “I am clear that we need to make the process for people to confirm their right to be in the UK or put their British citizenship on a legal footing as easy as possible. That is why I have launched a dedicated scheme which brings together our rights, obligations and offers to these people into one place.

“I want to swiftly put right the wrongs that have been done to this generation and am committed to doing whatever it takes to make this happen.”

The Windrush scandal has seen people who arrived from the Caribbean between the late 1940s and early 1970s, who have every right to be in the country, targeted by immigration officials.

Some have lost jobs and homes for failing to have the right paperwork, while there have also been stories of people being denied critical medical treatment and being targeted for deportation.

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