27 August 2020

Majority of Windrush compensation claimants still haven’t received payment

More than £1 million has now been paid out by the Windrush Compensation Scheme – but the vast majority of claimants have still not received payment.

Official figures indicate that, as of July, a total of £1,053,223.17 had been paid out in response to 143 claims.

However, Windrush victims have made a total of 1,480 total claims since the scheme was launched in April last year.

The number of claims received has fallen each quarter since then, with 88 submitted in July 2020.

Since the previous set of figures was published last month, five more claims have been made on behalf of victims who have already died, taking the total number to 65.

MPs have previously warned that there is a risk of people dying before they receive compensation owed unless the Government steps up its efforts.

Windrush Professions (PA Graphics)

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said the scheme is “complicated” and that she wants to see compensation “sped up”.

The scheme was set up after hundreds of thousands of people from Caribbean countries and their families were wrongly told they were in Britain illegally.

They had been encouraged to come to Britain to help fill post-war UK labour shortages between 1948 and 1971.

The group was labelled the Windrush Generation after travelling on the ship MV Empire Windrush, which docked in Tilbury, Essex, on June 22 1948.

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said that the time for words from the Government on the issue is over.

“This is yet more damning evidence that Government ministers are failing the many victims of the Windrush scandal,” he said.

“People who have been appallingly treated are facing unacceptable waits for compensation. This is particularly awful for those who are working and those in later life.

“The time for words from the Government is over – ministers need to get on and deliver for those who have been so badly treated.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I am pleased that the compensation scheme has now paid out more than £1 million and that a further £800,000 has been offered, but we are determined to go further and faster.

“It is my unwavering commitment to ensure that those whose lives were blighted and shattered receive the compensation that they deserve.”

Earlier this week, the director of the BBC’s Windrush scandal drama, Sitting In Limbo, said the Home Office tried to view the programme before it appeared on television.

Stella Corradi said during a panel discussion at the Edinburgh TV Festival that making the programme was a “real eye-opener” to the effect that drama can have on politics.

The feature-length drama was written by Stephen S Thompson and is based on the true story of his brother Anthony Bryan’s personal struggle to be accepted as a British citizen.

Corradi said the Home Office “were trying to view the film before it aired”.

“It was a real eye-opener to see the impact that drama can have and how it can contribute to the conversation,” she said.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox