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.
It comes only months after the Bishop for Migrants and Refugees, Paul McAleenan, urged the UK to learn lessons from the Windrush Scandal.
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.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has said the scheme is “complicated” and that she wants to see compensation “sped up”. It was set up after hundreds of thousands of people from Caribbean countries and their families were wrongly told they were in Britain illegally, after being encouraged to come to Britain to fill post-war UK labour shortages between 1948 and 1971.
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.”
Last month, 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.
Earlier this year, Bishop McAleenan heralded the importance and value of the Windrush Generation as well as that of the UK’s migrant and ethnic minority communities.
“All too often the Windrush generation were failed by the state, as the scandal of the detention and deportation of innocent people made tragically clear,” Bishop McAleenan said as he marked the third annual Windrush Day on 22nd June.
“Many of those harmed still await redress from government.”
“Racial justice depends upon many things, including learning from our history,” he added, while urging people to unite in prayer and reflection.
He added we must show a “a shared commitment to properly recognise the profound importance and value of the UK’s migrant and ethnic minority communities, and never allowing their human dignity to be violated”.
Picture: Archive photo, dated 5th May 2018, shows members of campaign group Stand Up To Racism during a demonstration on Whitehall calling for the end of a “hostile environment”.(Catherine Wylie/PA).