Windrush report that branded Home Office institutionally racist was 'watered down'

21 February 2020, 07:15 | Updated: 21 February 2020, 07:17

The language in the leaked report has been rowed back
The language in the leaked report has been rowed back. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A report that concluded the Home Office was "institutionally racist" over its immigration policies has reportedly been watered down.

The Times newspaper reported the phrase 'institutionally racist' was included in an early draft of the report but no longer appears in more recent versions.

The delayed independent review was commissioned after people with a right to live in the UK were wrongfully detained or deported to the Caribbean.

Previous leaked copies of the report branded the Home Office as "reckless" for failing to monitor the impact of its "hostile environment" immigration policy.

The leaked report from June 2019 said: "This appears particularly reckless considering the significant warnings that the department was given about their potential consequences."

The latest leak emerged as a row over the deportation of criminals to Jamaica has made it to the High Court after a charity managed to prevent the deportation of several offenders.

The report has been seen by some officials but ministers have not been allowed to read it. The Windrush review is being led by Wendy Williams, the inspector of constabulary.

Labour MP David Lammy, a vocal campaigner over the scandal caused by the department's "hostile environment" policy, demanded that the "truth must be published in full".

"The Windrush scandal resulted in the systematic deportation and detention of black British citizens by the UK Home Office," the Tottenham MP said.

"The victims' nationality and rights were denied because of the colour of their skin. If this is not institutionally racist I have no idea what is.

"It would be an outrage and an insult to the Windrush generation for Wendy Williams' independent Review to be watered down for political reasons."

The Home Office did not deny the report had been toned down.

"This is an independent review being led by Wendy Williams," a spokesman said.

"She has not yet submitted the final report to the Home Office.

"Once we have received it, we will publish it as soon as practicable. Ministers have not seen any version of the report."

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