THE treatment of members of the Windrush generation has been "a national embarrassment", a Newport MP has said.

Speaking in Parliament earlier this week, Newport East's Jessica Morden said she was concerned many of those who had come to live in the UK from Commonweath countries before 1973 - the so-called Windrush generation - were still unclear on the steps they should take to claim compensation for lost earnings or benefits.

In late 2017 it emerged many of the generation - named for ship MV Empire Windrush, on which workers from the Caribbean travelled to Britain in 1948 - had been told they were not allowed to work, claim benefits or get treatment on the NHS, and could be deported unless they could claim they were in the country legally.


But, as residents of British colonies had the legal right to live in the UK until immigration law was changed in 1973, those who arrived in Britain before then did not require immigration papers - and therefore cannot prove their citizenship.

Although the government has since promised to pass legislation to ensure anyone affected will not lose out, there have been reports of some uncertainty around how the system works.

Addressing immigration minister Caroline Nokes in Parliament this week, Labour MP Ms Morden said: “How will the government be compensating Windrush victims like my constituent who couldn’t work for eight years because of his lack of status, losing his National Insurance contributions and his pension? And are ministers making sure that in complicated cases like this, people get the advice they need to fill out the form so they are not victimised yet again?”

Replying, Ms Nokes said: "We worked very hard with the independent adviser, and indeed with victims of Windrush, to ensure the claim form was as accessible and as easily understood as possible.

"It is a complicated claim form, because there are 13 different heads of claims under which people are able to claim compensation, but we have set up a contract with Citizens Advice so they can get independent advice without having to resort to using lawyers."

Speaking afterwards Ms Morden said: “The treatment of victims of the Windrush scandal by this government has been a national embarrassment, with far-reaching consequences in communities across the country including in Newport.

"Ministers need to get to grips with the ongoing problems with the Windrush compensation scheme which are still causing unnecessary worry and distress to longstanding members of our community who have worked hard and paid their way – they deserve better.”

For more information on the Windrush Compensation Scheme call 0800 678 1925 or visit