The Government has committed to support those of the Windrush generation who have faced difficulties in establishing their status under the immigration system. Among the series of measures to help put things right, I have already announced that a compensation scheme will be put in place for those who have suffered financial loss as a result of these difficulties, and that we will consult on the design of this scheme. I want to do this as quickly as possible. But also need to get the detail right reflecting the complexity of ways in which people might have been impacted.
As a first step to establishing the compensation scheme the Home Office is today launching a Call for Evidence that is addressed to those who have been affected by this situation, and to their families. This will be the first step of the consultation process, and will be published on gov.uk. A copy of the document will also be placed in the House Library.
It is always important for government to listen, and it is especially important to do so now. To put things right we need to understand more about what happened, to understand the personal stories, which will help to inform the design of the compensation scheme. As well as receiving written contributions I have asked officials to reach out to the people and communities most closely affected, listen to their concerns directly and, in particular, understand properly how we might address them through a compensation scheme.
I believe it is also important to have some external assurance that the compensation scheme meets the needs of those affected. So I will appoint an Independent Person to oversee the running of the scheme when it is in place. Martin Forde QC has agreed to provide independent advice on the design of the scheme. He is himself the son of Windrush parents and brings a wealth of experience in complex public law and compensation matters. I am confident that he will ensure that the interests of those affected will be properly represented and reflected in the scheme.
The Call for Evidence will run until 8 June. Once we have listened and considered those contributions, I will then launch a public consultation as soon as possible to provide the technical detail on proposals for the compensation scheme. I want to put in place a compensation scheme as quickly and as carefully as possible, to help redress what has gone wrong.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords