A survivor from the Windrush scandal said that he and others would continue to fight for compensation as MPs demand that the Home Office be removed from running the scheme.

Johnny Samuels suggested that the Home Office might wait for survivors to die before compensating them.

According to a report by the Home Affairs Committee, most applicants had not received a penny in four years after the scandal broke.

The Home Office stated that it was working to improve the scheme.

This scandal led to thousands of UK citizens, most of them originally from the Caribbean, being wrongly classified as illegal immigrants.

This led to thousands of people being denied healthcare, housing, or the right for work.

It affected the Windrush generation of people who arrived from the Caribbean between 1948 and 1971.

They were granted indefinite leave of residence in 1971. However, thousands of them were children who had traveled on the passports of their parents.

Many were unable prove their right to reside in the country during “hostile environment” immigrant policies, which demanded documentation to be shown.

  • Who is the Windrush generation?
  • Windrush victims are still waiting for compensation
  • Windrush: Some victims died before getting compensation

When Mr Samuels moved from Jamaica to the UK, he was eight years old. His parents had come to “rebuild Britain” he stated.

BBC Breakfast told him that he was shocked to have received letters from his employer stating that he couldn’t work anymore and that he needed to leave.

He said, “After 55 years living in the UK, working, and doing positive things, then the Home Office letter [arrived] to me, telling me that I was an illegal immigrant, and giving me six weeks for me to leave the country.”

He said that the “embarrassment” at being told to leave the country during work was a “stigma” and that it “doesn’t go away”. His colleagues also believed he was an illegal alien.

Samuels stated that he was still in limbo regarding receiving compensation. He added: “It really makes one wonder, is the carrot real, will it happen before we’re put to the grave, and sometimes that’s what the Home Office is waiting on.”

He promised that justice delayed would not be justice denied and that Windrush survivors would fight until the end, even if it meant marching on the streets.

Samuels, echoing MPs’ calls for the scheme to be taken out of the control of the Home Office, called on the prime minister and the home secretary to take action.

He stated, “Why is it taking us so long to…receive justice?”

“I am sick and tired being sick and tired about this matter.

“Priti Patel, Boris Johnson, do something because we’re not going to be dead.”

A cross-party committee made up of MPs discovered that a 2019 official scheme to compensate victims had become an additional trauma for those applying. It was also plagued by a “litany” of flaws in its design and operation.

It found that claimants were subject to excessive claims, insufficient staffing, and long delays. Many of those affected are still afraid of the Home Office and are unable to apply.

To “increase trust” and “encourage more applicants”, the MPs suggested that an “independent organization” be given responsibility for managing the scheme.

According to the report, many of the same bureaucratic insensitivities were involved in the scheme that led to Windrush’s first scandal.

It was too slow to get involved at the grassroots level in order to build trust in this scheme, it said.

These delays meant that only one fifth of the estimated 15,000 eligible claimants had applied for the scheme by September 2021 and only 25% of them had received compensation.

The MPs emphasized the fact that 23 people died before they received any compensation.

The lawmakers welcomed the December 2020 changes to the scheme to speed up payments, but they said that these were “long overdue” as well as not going far enough.

“It’s truly shocking that so few people have received any compensation due to the hardship they suffered at the hands Home Office,” stated Yvette Cooper who chairs the committee.


“Urgent action must be taken to obtain compensation for those who have been so severely wronged.” 

She said, “It is astonishing, given the failures in the Windrush scandal that the Home Office has allowed some same problems to affect Windrush Compensation Scheme too,”

The Home Office is urged to:

  • Encourage more Windrush generation members to apply for compensation
  • Ensure that everyone is compensated quickly
  • Increase the amount of money paid
  • All claimants will receive legal assistance
  • Give more support to grassroots campaigns

The Home Office responded to the report by saying: “The department and the home secretary remain firm in their commitment to ensure Windrush generation members receive all the compensation they are entitled to.”

“We are making improvements such as simplifying application processes, hiring more caseworkers, and eliminating the end date.”