A senior Church of England bishop has blasted the Home Office as 'out of control' and inept.
Pete Broadbent, the bishop of Willesden and, until recently, the acting-bishop of London, made the comments over the treatment of thousands of Caribbean-born UK residents. The so-called Windrush generation came to Britain decades ago but now face uncertainty over their status.
Four other Church of England bishops have joined a campaign calling for amnesty for those who arrived as minors between 1948 and 1971. They are now facing being denied health care, being barred from working and possible deportation.
Michael Ipgrave of Lichfield, Mark Rylands of Shrewsbury, Clive Gregory of Wolverhampton and Geoff Annas of Stafford urged their parishioners to sign a petition which also calls for the government to pay compensation for 'loss and hurt' caused.
The Home Office are out of control. Their ineptitude in record keeping jeopardises hundreds of our people here in London. Please sign the petition. https://t.co/R5dLuIxvRj— Pete Broadbent (@petespurs) 13 April 2018
The petition had more than 77,000 signatures on Saturday and is rapidly gaining support with backing from a number of MPs, including Labour's David Lammy, a committed Christian.
This is grotesque, immoral and inhumane. The government is retrospectively revoking citizenship rights that our government itself granted but failed to record properly decades ago. I will fight against this historic injustice with every bone in my body until this wrong is righted https://t.co/eaUhvhFszM— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) 12 April 2018
What is going on is a stain on our nation's conscience. After WWII we invited the Windrush Generation over as citizens to help rebuild our country, and now their children are being treated like criminals. The Home Sec and PM can right this historic wrong: https://t.co/ac2Ua2XTGc— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) 13 April 2018
Bishop Ipgrave said: 'As preparations are made to celebrate the 70th anniversary of [the arrival of] Windrush [the ship that brought some of the first migrants to the UK from the Caribbean], it saddens me greatly that people who have lived here their whole adult lives now face uncertainty and fear.
'These are individuals in their 50s and 60s who have contributed to society and may have never known a home outside of the UK. I am urging people across the Midlands and beyond to join me in signing this petition to right this wrong.'