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  1. ITV Report

Some members of Windrush generation have been wrongly deported, immigration minister admits

Some members of the Windrush generation have been wrongly deported, Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes has admitted to ITV News.

Asked whether people who had been resident in the UK for decades had been deported, Ms Nokes said: "There have been some horrendous situations which as a minister have appalled me."

Her comments were followed by an urgent question in the House of Commons from Labour's David Lammy, who said it was "inhumane and cruel" for so many in the Windrush generation "to have suffered so long in this condition".

Home Secretary Amber Rudd responded, claiming the Home Office had been too focused on policy rather than individuals.

She said: "I am concerned that the Home Office has become too concerned with policy and strategy, and sometimes lose sight of the individual.

"This is about individuals, and we have seen the individual stories, and they have been, some of them, terrible to hear, and that is why I have acted."

She added: "I am not aware of any specific cases of a person being removed in these circumstances."

The Home Secretary's comments appeared to contradict those made by Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes, who admitted mistakes had been made.

She added: "I don't know the numbers, but what I am determined to do going forward is to say we will have no more of this.

"We want people to have confidence to come to the Home Office, we want to give them a message of reassurance, because we value these people."

Speaking in the Commons, David Lammy said Ms Rudd should know the numbers of people who had been deported.

The Tottenham MP added: "This is a day of national shame and it has come about because of a hostile environment policy that was begun under her Prime Minister.

"Let us call it as it is. If you lay down with dogs, you get fleas, and that is what has happened with this far right rhetoric in this country."

Theresa May is to meet counterparts from Caribbean states this week to discuss problems faced by long-term British residents from the Windrush generation over their immigration status, Downing Street has announced.

Mrs May's official spokesman said: "She deeply values the contribution made by these and all Commonwealth citizens who have made a life in the UK, and is making sure the Home Office is offering the correct solution for individual situations.

"She is aware that many people are unlikely to have documents that are over 40 years old and she is clear that no-one with the right to be here will be made to leave."

The SS Empire Windrush, which brought immigrants from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands, to the UK. Credit: PA

Ms Nokes apologised to members of the Windrush generation, saying: "I am very sorry that this situation has arisen. I think we have to reflect this goes way back to the 1970s.

"That's before I was born. That really gives you a picture of how long these people have contributed to our country."

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn also voiced his support for the Windrush generation, calling it "disgraceful" that some had been wrongly deported.

The comments came after a cross-party group of 140 MPs wrote to Mrs May calling for an "immediate and effective" response to problems faced by members of the Windrush generation.

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The letter to the PM was co-ordinated by David Lammy, chairman of the Race and Community All Party Parliamentary Group, and has the backing of Jeremy Corbyn and Conservative MPs such as Sarah Wollaston.

The letter to Mrs May calls for action over the immigration anomalies, stating: "All too often these routine bureaucratic errors bring about the separation of families and irreparable damage to lives in addition to undue stress, anxiety and suffering."