Leaked excerpts from the draft landmark review, conducted by her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons, Wendy Williams, have been seen by Channel 4 News and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants. The draft report finds the Home Office not fit for purpose, citing dysfunction at  all levels.

 

The review lays bare a Home Office that is broken from the top down. Over many years, Ministers have created a culture of ignoring warnings and evidence, of blindness to the human impact of their policies, and a refusal to address or even to monitor the consequences on ethnic minorities. This culture directly resulted in the Windrush scandal which affected so many black and minority ethnic British residents.

 

The Independent Inspector did not hold back in her criticism of the hostile environment and other policies that resulted in Windrush Brits being detained and deported and may have affected other groups. She also raised concerns that the Government is failing to investigate the extent of the harm that is being caused by Home Office failings.

 

Satbir Singh, CEO, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said,

 

“This review confirms what we at JCWI have said from the beginning: Windrush was no accident, but the inevitable result of a broken immigration system, driven by the divisive politics of scapegoating and scaremongering. JCWI warned the Government repeatedly that the Home Office and immigration system are not fit for purpose, and the hostile environment was a failure. In February we proved in the High Court that landlord immigration checks cause racial discrimination.

 

After today, there is nowhere left to hide. The Tory leadership candidates must pledge to scrap the Hostile Environment, repeal Right to Rent and rebuild the immigration system from the ground up. We expect the Government to release the full report without delay so that we can begin finally  to build a humane, fair and functional immigration system."

 

The report highlights:

  • The Home Office is failing in its legal duty to counter racial discrimination
  • Ministers have wilfully ignored evidence and failed to come clean with the public about the risks of their policies or have an honest conversation about the benefits of migration
  • Home Office staff at all levels need to be educated on Britain's own history, including its colonial past
  • Ministers should admit this was not simply an operational issue but that they were wrong at the policy level. They should unequivocally apologise.
  • Ministers failed to adequately consider the risk of racial discrimination as a result of their policies, in particular in housing - a direct reference to Right to Rent, which the report recommends should be suspended. Right to Rent was found to be causing racial discrimination by the High Court, in a challenge brought by JCWI.
  • Home Office claims that Windrush was unforeseen or unavoidable or the fault of the victims are rebutted in the report, which instead blames a negative Home Office culture which defends, deflects and dismiss criticism

 

Satbir Singh is available for interview and comment. Please contact Sarah Marcus on 07739 39 62 80 or Chai Patel on 07540 425 377 for media requests.