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BEO Windrush letter to UK PM

BY BEO | 06/04/2023

Dear Prime Minister,

Seventy-five years ago this June, thousands of people from across the Caribbean arrived as invited migrants to help rebuild post-war Britain. Instead of their efforts being recognised, many later found themselves caught up in a scandal that devastated lives and caused irrevocable damage.

The Windrush scandal came to light in 2018 and following the Government-commissioned Independent Review by Wendy Williams, the then Home Secretary vowed to “listen and act”.

That promise has been shattered by the current Home Secretary who has abandoned three of the key recommendations from the Williams Review. This is a kick in the teeth to the Windrush generation, to whom our country owes such a huge debt of gratitude.

In the three years since the Review, progress on all fronts has been painfully slow.

The Windrush compensation scheme remains bureaucratic and overly complicated. It is unconscionable that some Windrush victims who should have been compensated, died before their cases were resolved and payments made. Many others are still fighting to receive their payments.

Instead of scrapping key commitments, we urge your Government to stick to the promises made – there is still an opportunity to show that you and your ministers are serious about righting past wrongs.

To do anything less sends a clear message that the suffering of the Windrush generation was in vain and the hostile environment still exists.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Wanda Wyporska
Chief Executive Officer, BEO

Natalie Barnes – Windrush survivor
Michael Braithwaite – Windrush survivor
Anthony Bryan – Windrush survivor
Glenda Ceasar – Windrush survivor
Hameed Adigun – Black Men 4 Change
Kahiye Alim– Director – Council of Somali Organisations (CSO) Adjoa Andoh HonFRSA– Actress
Paul Anderson MBE – Chief Executive, VOYAGE (Voice Of Youth And Genuine Empowerment)
Jason Arthur – Chief Executive, Mission 44
Derek Bardowell – CEO, Ten Years’ Time
Dr Halima Begum – CEO, Runnymede Trust Karen Blackett OBE– Trustee, Black Equity Organisation
Erika Brodnock – Director – Black Funding Network
Andrew Brown – Croydon BME Forum
Jabeer Butt – The Race Equality Foundation
Asher Craig – Deputy Mayor, Bristol City Council
Michelle Daly – Trustee, Black Equity Organisation Cym D’Souza– Chair, BME National
Brenda Emmanus OBE – Broadcaster
Angela Ferreira – Director, Black Funding Network
Yvonne Field – CEO & Founder, The Ubele Initiative
Andy George – President, National Black Police Association
Yvette Griffith – Co-Chief Exec & Executive Director Jazz Re:Freshed, Director – Black Funding Network
Patricia Hamzahee – Director – Windrush Caribbean Film
David Harewood OBE – Actor and presenter/Director, Black Funding Network Abdirahim Hassan – Founder, Coffee Afrik CIC
Zita Holbourne – National Chair and Co-founder BARAC UK
Colin Jackson OBE – Athlete/broadcaster
Ramya Jaidev – Windrush Lives
Lee Jasper – Chair of Alliance for Police Accountability (APA)
Sado Jirde – Director – Black South West Network (BSWN)
Abimbola Johnson
Christina Jordean – Black Lives Matter UK
Beverley Knight OBE – Singer/actress
Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE – Artistic Director of the Young Vic/Black Equity Organisation Trustee
Sandra Kerr CBE – Race Director, Business in the Community
Patricia Lamour MBE – Co-founder Blaksox
Dame Denise Lewis – Athlete and broadcaster
Ben Lindsay OBE – Power The Fight
Michael Lomotey
Leon Mann MBE – Founder, Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS) and Football Black List
Obe Nsugbe – The Africa Centre David Olusoga OBE – Professor of Public History/broadcaster/ Black Equity Organisation Trustee
Lara Oyedele – President, the Chartered Institute of Housing/CEO of Black on Board Rita Patel – Chair of Operation Black Vote (OBV)
Professor Niven Rennie – Executive Chair, Hope Collective CIC
Golda Rosheuvel – Actor
Aisha Sanusie – Director, The African Caribbean Education Network (ACEN)
Saba Safi – CEO – Advocay Academy
Frances-Anne Solomon – Director, Windrush Caribbean Film Festival
Angela Spence – Chief Executive Officer, Kensington and Chelsea Social Council
Trevor Sterling – Mary Seacole Trust
Garry Stewart – Director, Windrush Caribbean Film Festival
Marcia Willis Stewart KC (Hon) – Black Equity Organisation Trustee
Yvonne Thompson – Trustee, Wintrade Global
Patrick Vernon – Windrush campaigner and social commentator
Joy Warmington – CEO, BRAP
Tony Wong – Chief Executive Officer, Hackney CVS (Hackney Council for Voluntary Service)