Thank you for contacting me about a deportation flight to Jamaica on the 18th of May. Left unchallenged, these deportations set a very dangerous precedent, and I fear this Government will take full advantage of it.
According to the Home Office, the flight left with seven people on board. Some media reported that 100 people were on the Home Office’s initial list.
I share the concerns that have been raised specifically around these deportations, and deportations more widely, particularly following the Windrush scandal.
As we know, members of the Windrush generation were deported illegally in recent years, while being denied access to healthcare, housing and access to employment due to the Government’s “hostile environment” policies.
While the Government has generally committed to the recommendations made in Wendy Williams’ Lessons Learned review around the Windrush scandal, it has given no clear timetable for their implementation. Given the Government’s record on Windrush, I believe it is right to question whether the necessary and appropriate due diligence has been undertaken in relation to those on deportation flights.
Unfortunately these deportations are part of a wider trend of this Tory government. Last year I campaigned to stop the mass deportation of Zimbabweans from across the UK.
Furthermore this trend is typified by their recent unbelievable plan to send those seeking sanctuary in our country to Rwanda. This plan is obscene, impractical and eye-wateringly expensive.
The reality is that the Tories have a terrible record on tackling the growing backlog at our borders. Home Office decision making has collapsed, delays and incompetence means they are taking 50% fewer asylum decisions than 5 years ago.
This is an important issue and one that I continue to follow closely. The injustices of the Windrush scandal can never be allowed to happen again.