Theresa May told to apologise to families of deported Windrush citizens who died – UK

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Theresa May has been challenged to apologise personally to the families of three Windrush citizens who were removed from Britain and have since died.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is writing to the families, along with 15 other people who could also have been wrongly removed or detained from the generation of African-Caribbean migrants who came to Britain in the 1950s.

He will offer a “personal apology” and said their experiences are “inexcusable”.

But Labour has challenged Mrs May to apologise too, saying a letter from Mr Javid is “not good enough”.

“The prime minister is the architect of the hostile environment policy that saw these British citizens deported to Jamaica,” Labour’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said.

“It is the prime minister who must personally apologise to their families and loved ones.

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“Theresa May must stop using the home secretary as her human shield and take responsibility for the Windrush scandal and the suffering it has caused.”

British troops prepare to board Empire Windrush in Southampton heading to Korea
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18 Windrush citizens were thought to have been wrongfully deported

Ms Abbott added the deaths of three British citizens living in Jamaica who were wrongfully deported “shames this government and the prime minister”.

She said: “Our fellow citizens dying thousands of miles from their homes, families and friends and our health service is the latest tragic injustice suffered by our fellow citizens as a direct result of the Tories’ hostile environment.”

The three were identified as priority cases in the government’s bid to “right the wrongs” that occurred as a result of the scandal.

A spokeswoman for the department said: “Three of the 18 people have been confirmed as having died.

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“The Home Secretary will be writing to the families of the deceased, as well as the other 15 people identified, to offer a personal apology.

“We are working closely with Caribbean High Commissioners and governments to do this.”

Sky News has contacted Downing Street for comment but has yet to receive a response.

Diane Abbott
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Diane Abbott has called on the PM to apologise personally

Earlier this month, Mr Javid revealed the findings of a review of nearly 12,000 historical records.

It identified 164 members of the Windrush generation who may have been removed, detained or stopped at the border.

Of the 18 cases where the Home Office is deemed “most likely” to have acted wrongfully, 11 people voluntarily departed, with some having been served immigration enforcement notices telling them they had no right to be in the UK.

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In another seven cases, people were detained and subsequently released without being removed.

Reports first emerged on Thursday that three of the 18 died before officials could contact them and help them come back.

The Windrush generation are named after a ship that carried migrants from the Carribean to Britain in 1948.

Citizens from the Commonwealth who arrived before 1973 were automatically given indefinite leave to remain.

However some lost their jobs, were unable to get treatment on the NHS and had their driving licences withdrawn in the wake of changes to UK immigration law, despite the fact they had lived in the UK legally for decades.

The Home Office said: “The experiences faced by some members of the Windrush generation are inexcusable.

“The home secretary and the immigration minister have said that it is their priority to right the wrongs that have occurred.”

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