Windrush celebrations ‘bittersweet’ amid deportations scandal

David Lammy. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
David Lammy. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
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The Windrush scandal has left British-Caribbeans feeling like “second-class citizens” and will make celebrations marking 70 years since the generation’s beginning “bittersweet”, MP David Lammy has said.

The Labour politician, who has been a vocal critic of the “hostile environment” that caused members of the Windrush generation to be wrongly deported and denied access to basic rights, also renewed calls for an independent inquiry into the scandal.

READ MORE: Who are the Windrush Generation?

He was speaking ahead of today’s 70th anniversary of the generation’s beginning when about 500 Caribbeans stepped off the Empire Windrush in Tilbury Docks, Essex, to join the effort to rebuild post-war Britain.

Mr Lammy said: “I think it’s a moment to celebrate the people who gave so much and took so little, but it is a little bittersweet.

“I think the Windrush scandal of late has left a very nasty taste in the mouth and there will be many Britons who feel sad that that has happened.”

READ MORE: Home Office ‘set targets’ for deportations

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott has also called on the Government to reveal the full extent of the scandal and to publish figures on the number of people affected.

The politician, who has written to Home Secretary Sajid Javid, said: “Warm words about commemorating the Windrush generation are not enough.”