Windrush scandal caused by ‘decades of racist immigration laws’, leaked report says

The Windrush scandal was caused by decades of racist immigration law that was designed to reduce the number of non-white people living in the UK, according to a bombshell leaked Home Office report.

The report, seen by the Guardian, concludes that the origins of the Windrush scandal lie in racist policies perpetuated by the government.

“During the period 1950-1981, every single piece of immigration or citizenship legislation was designed at least in part to reduce the number of people with black or brown skin who were permitted to live and work in the UK,” the analysis reportedly says.

The 52-page report tells how “the British Empire depended on racist ideology in order to function”, The Guardian reported.

The Home Office has said that the report was written as part of internal training designed to be given to civil servants. They said that the training has been piloted but it has not been widely rolled out.

According to reports, the paper argues that the Windrush scandal was caused by a failure of government to recognise the impact of its immigration law.

“As a result, the experiences of Britain’s black communities of the Home Office, of the law, and of life in the UK have been fundamentally different from those of white communities.

“Major immigration legislation in 1962, 1968 and 1971 was designed to reduce the proportion of people living in the United Kingdom who did not have white skin,” the leaked report is quoted as saying.

The paper, written by an unnamed historian, was commissioned by the Home Office to consider the origins of the Windrush scandal.

It emerged in 2017 that hundreds of Commonwealth citizens, many of whom were from the Windrush generation, had been wrongly deported and denied their legal immigration rights in the UK.

The document, which analysed the impact of immigration law from the 20th century, has not been published and requests for it to be made public have been rejected.

A Freedom of Information request for the report was refused by the government on the basis that it contained “sensitive issues involving the development of policies.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “This is a unique programme of training, which we are committed to getting right.

“We have already made good progress against Wendy Williams recommendations. She highlighted many achievements, including the work we have put into becoming a more compassionate and open organisation.

“We know there is more to do. Many people suffered terrible injustices at the hands of successive Governments and we will continue working hard to deliver a Home Office worthy of every community we serve.”


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