As usual, whenever the Labour party makes an attempt to hold the government to account for their latest act of jaw-dropping callousness, the phrase ‘politically motivated’ or ‘playing with politics’ is trotted out by the Tories, in this case by Mrs Keegan in her letter last week.
Well, may I suggest if the member for Chichester does not want to engage with politics in political debate then perhaps the House of Commons is not the best place for her to earn her living. Just to remind anyone who may have forgotten: the Windrush generation are British citizens; they were granted that citizenship by a British government. The government’s three-line whip in response to Labour’s motion for requiring the release of documents was a blatant attempt to protect the Prime Minister, as it was she who instigated the hostile environment policy.
Labour believes the public has a right to know the true nature of those who have been entrusted with government responsibility, and these documents will shed some light on this. Unlike the government, we want the truth to be fully visible. Mrs Keegan seems to be treating this whole sorry episode as some kind of administrative error, akin to a bank clerk erroneously taking 2p from a bank account. This approach ignores the depths of human misery suffered by the victims.
In the most disingenuous part of her defence of the way she voted, Mrs Keegan seems to be laying the blame on immigration officials who allegedly failed to properly document citizens on their arrival in this country decades ago. Actually, no, it is not their fault. The Windrush generation lived here without threat of deportation for many decades until the hostile environment policy was activated by Mrs May (as Home Secretary). This deeply offensive policy was then enthusiastically enacted by the Home Office. These citizens have paid tax and received wages during their time in this country, thus leaving a clear trail of proof of their right to remain here.
Kevin Hughes, Chair, Chichester Branch, Labour Party, Theatre Lane