Home Office has spent £6 million on Windrush scandal response

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is leading the Government's response to the Windrush scandal. Picture: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images
Home Secretary Sajid Javid is leading the Government's response to the Windrush scandal. Picture: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images
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The Home Office has spent more than £6 million so far on its response to the Windrush scandal.

New figures published by the department show it had spent £6.05m on activities relating to its Windrush reform programme and an independent “lessons learned” review as at the end of October.

At that point there were 175 “full-time equivalent” staff assigned to the initiatives, while additional personnel have been used at times during the financial year.

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As well as staffing costs, the spending includes around £56,600 on external legal advice and £165,000 on contractors and independent advisers.

The Home Office has also funded flights from Jamaica to London for three individuals who faced “urgent and exceptional” circumstances.

On top of the £6m, about £4m in fees has been waived following the introduction of the Windrush scheme, which allows eligible applicants to obtain status free of charge.

The financial information was released alongside Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s latest monthly update on the UK Government’s work to address the Windrush failings.

It revealed officials have now traced 124 out of 164 people identified in a review of historical removals and detentions. Efforts to make contact with the remaining 40 are continuing.

Mr Javid has already apologised over 18 cases considered most likely to have “suffered detriment” because their right to be in the UK was not recognised.

The number of applications refused by the Windrush scheme stood at 186 at the end of October.

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The Home Secretary said none of the refusal decisions have been made lightly and all have had “lengthy and detailed consideration”.

He said more than 1,000 cases remain outstanding and it is likely a “significant proportion” will lead to more refusals.

The update also revealed 2,440 individuals had been given documentation confirming their status and 2,823 have been granted British citizenship.

Ministers faced a furious backlash over the treatment of members of the Windrush generation, named after a ship that brought migrants to Britain from the Caribbean in 1948.

Commonwealth citizens who arrived before 1973 were automatically granted indefinite leave to remain, but many were not issued with any documents confirming their status.

A public outcry erupted after it emerged long-term UK residents were denied access to services, held in detention or removed despite living legally in the country for decades.

Last month a major new report by the National Audit Office found that the Home Office had failed to act on repeated warning signs and was yet to establish the full scale of the scandal.