Roma Taylor: Empire Windrush generation ‘need their compensation’ says community leader

Roma Taylor was awarded a British Empire Medal for her work supporting victims of the Windrush scandal. Credit: PA/ITV

A leading Welsh community leader has called for victims of the Windrush scandal to be fully compensated.

Roma Taylor, who founded the Windrush Cymru Elders group following the scandal, made the comments to ITV Cymru Wales’ Face To Face programme.

Roma herself arrived in Tiger Bay from Antigua in 1959, aged just 15.

She has since become a spokesperson for those who experienced persecution and injustice, and recently received a British Empire Medal for her work.

Roma moved to Cardiff's Tiger Bay from Antigua before joining the British Army.

“They [the UK Government] need to give the elders, the Windrush Generation, their compensation,” she told Face To Face.

“There are still people waiting. They are old, elderly people, and they need to have their compensation.”

The Windrush scandal erupted in 2018 when British citizens, mostly from the Caribbean, were wrongly detained, deported or threatened with deportation, despite having the right to live in Britain.

Many people lost homes and jobs, and were denied access to healthcare and benefits.

In 2020, solicitor Wendy Williams published her ‘Windrush Lessons Learned Review’, and all 30 of her recommendations were originally accepted by then-home secretary Priti Patel.

However, in January 2023 it was confirmed that Suella Braverman, who was in post as home secretary by that stage, had dropped three commitments, including establishing a migrants’ commissioner, increasing the powers of the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, and to hold reconciliation events.

Suella Braverman served as Home Secretary in 2022 and 2023 before she was replaced by James Cleverly. Credit: PA

Campaigners have previously described the axing of these recommendations as a “kick in the teeth”, and campaigners such as Welsh athlete Colin Jackson have described the progress as “painfully slow”.

“There’s a lot more [that] needs to be done,” Roma continued. “It’s started, but more has to be done, especially everything that has to do with racism.”

A spokesperson for the UK Government’s Home Office said: “Five years on, our determination to right the wrongs of the Windrush scandal remains as strong as ever and we have paid out more than £75 million in compensation.

“We have also made significant progress since Wendy Williams’ review and our important work to implement her recommendations continues.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further on ongoing legal proceedings.”

Watch Face To Face at 10:45pm on Thursday, February 22 on ITV Cymru Wales and catch up afterwards on ITVX.