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Windrush caseload hits 3,000 and 'increasing daily'

By Greg Heffer, Political Reporter
The number of potential victims of the Windrush scandal has reached 3,000, it has been revealed.
New Home Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs on Wednesday that a taskforce has received more than 7,000 calls, of which 3,000 have been identified as potential Windrush cases.These numbers are "increasing by the day", with 700 appointments scheduled and more than 100 people having been handed the immigration documents they need, Mr Javid said.The latest numbers were revealed as Mr Javid provided more detail of the Prime Minister's promise of "transparency" over immigration problems suffered by British citizens of Commonwealth origins.However, the Government successfully defeated a Labour attempt to force the publication of correspondence between ministers, officials and advisers over eight years.MPs voted by 316 to 221, majority 95, against an Opposition motion that would have prompted the disclosure of internal documents.Tory MPs were on a three-line whip to attend the vote, while senior Labour sources told Sky News their MPs were caught off-guard by the Government's efforts to oppose the motion, with many campaigning away from Westminster ahead of Thursday's local elections.
Windrush caseload hits 3,000 and 'increasing daily'

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There are 3,000 potential Windrush cases
Labour's shadow home secretary Diane Abbott branded the result "nothing short of a betrayal of the Windrush generation".She said: "This was an opportunity for the Tories to start to right the wrongs they have done to the Windrush generation."After losing her human shield with the resignation of Amber Rudd, the architect of this scandal, Theresa May, ordered her MPs to vote to cover up the truth of her involvement."Prior to the vote, Mr Javid accused Labour of seeking a "massive, open-ended fishing expedition" that would be "disproportionate and distracting" from efforts to solve the Windrush row."It would take help and capacity away from where it's needed by re-assigning more than 100 officials," he said."That would create significant cost for taxpayers."
Windrush caseload hits 3,000 and 'increasing daily'

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Mr Javid instead sought to reassure MPs of the Government's response to the scandal by pledging to write to the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee each month to "report on progress".The Home Secretary said he will also be writing each month "on the latest position on detentions, removals and deportations" and will "bring independent oversight and challenge to a 'lessons learned' review already underway in my department"."This review will seek to draw out how members of the Windrush generation came to be entangled in measures designed for illegal immigrants," Mr Javid added."Why that was not spotted sooner? And whether the right corrective measures are now in place?"
The review will aim to complete its work before Parliament breaks for its summer recess in July, Mr Javid told MPs.During Prime Minister's Question's earlier, Theresa May promised the review would have "full access to all relevant information in the Home Office".
Windrush caseload hits 3,000 and 'increasing daily'

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Theresa May promised a review would have 'full access' to Home Office information
Amid scrutiny of the Government's immigration policies as a result of the Windrush scandal - along with a focus on Theresa May's "hostile environment" for illegal immigrants while she was home secretary - there have been claims Home Office officials were paid bonuses for hitting deportation targets.Mr Javid did not deny the reports as he sidestepped questions on the issue in the House of Commons.He told MPs: "I haven't personally had time to look into that particular issue, about who may or may not have received bonuses."If there are senior civil servants that have received any bonuses, it is a matter for officials, it is not a matter for ministers."As MPs debated Labour's attempt to use a parliamentary procedure to force the disclosure of internal documents from 2010 and this year, the exchanges turned heated with Mr Javid addressing racist abuse of him since his appointment as Home Secretary.Mr Javid was asked by Tory MP Simon Hoare if he felt motivated or depressed by "vile left-wing trolls" calling him a "coconut" and an "Uncle Tom", derogatory terms used to describe non-whites viewed to be subservient to white people.
Windrush caseload hits 3,000 and 'increasing daily'

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In response, the Home Secretary claimed Mr Hoare had reminded him "some of the hard left" have joined Labour under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and "how that anti-Semitism has been tolerated".He added: "I was talking about members of the hard left that have created a hostile environment in their own party and people that welcome my appointment by calling me a 'coconut' and an 'Uncle Tom'."He challenged Mr Corbyn, sitting on the Labour front bench, to denounce abuse of him at the despatch box but the Labour leader did not move.Ms Abbott then replied: "I've been online condemning the racist abuse against him. I know what racist abuse is."So everyone on this side of the House without exception condemns the names he has been called."
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Labour's David Lammy was applauded by MPs at the end of his contribution, in which he said: "The hostile environment is about raising questions about the status of anybody who looks like they could be an immigrant."It's about treating anybody who looks like they could be an immigrant as if they are a criminal."
news.sky.com
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