Northampton Windrush victim criticises 'insulting' red tape after more than a year without an apology or compensation

"Windrush is not a made-up thing. It's reality. It happened. But I've got no apology from anyone yet."

By Alastair Ulke
Thursday, 16th July 2020, 9:37 am
Updated Thursday, 16th July 2020, 9:40 am
"England is my home." Ivan Anglin was wrongly deported in 1998 when officials refused to believe he had been living here for 35 years.
"England is my home." Ivan Anglin was wrongly deported in 1998 when officials refused to believe he had been living here for 35 years.

An 84-year-old Northampton Windrush victim and his family have as hit out at the Home Office's "insulting" bureaucracy after a year of waiting without any news of an apology or compensation.

It took 20 years, but in 2018 Ivan Anglin returned home to England after he was wrongly deported to Jamaica in 1998.

At the time, Ivan was 62 years old and had lived and worked in England for 35 years. But after travelling back to Jamaica for his sister's funeral, he was stopped by immigration officials at Heathrow, who refused to believe he was a Briton and deported him.

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Ivan and his family at his 84th birthday party.

He was just one of the thousands of victims of what is now called The Windrush Scandal, where the UK's broken immigration system led to British citizens being wrongly told they weren't welcome.

Ivan was allowed to return home to England in 2018 after the scandal came to light, and now lives in The Mounts.

But now, two years later, he and his family are still faced by sluggish bureaucracy as they wait for an apology and compensation for their ordeal.

"England is my home," Ivan told the Chronicle & Echo. "It's been strange to reconnect with my family. I've got grandchild and great-grandchildren I hadn't met before. The family's gotten bigger while I was gone.

"I feel this shouldn't take any more time. It should be done away with. That's my belief.

"Windrush is not a made-up thing. It's reality. It happened. But I've got no apology from anyone yet."

It comes one year after Ivan and his family first contacted the Home Office's Windrush Task Force in July 2019 to make their claim for compensation.

The only contact they have had since then was a reply to say they were processing his application - and a letter in late-2019 asking for a copy of his payslips from his job as a barman at Cranford University in 1998.

Ivan was allowed to come home to England in 2018 after 20 years away.

When Ivan was deported in 1998, he was given 48 hours to tie up 35 years of his life in England before he was made to leave. He only got to say goodby in person to one of his daughters.

Now, the Home Office is asking if he happened to keep any payslips from before he was ejected from the country 20 years ago so they can process his compensation.

Then, when he and his family contacted the Tax Office asking for copies to send the Home Office, they wrote back instructing him to contact the Home Office who would ask for them from the Tax Office on his behalf.

This letter, in January 2020, is the last contact they have had.

It comes after a report in May revealed only 60 victims have so far received compensation, amounting to £360,000. This is after the Government set aside a fund to pay compensation to victims. Officials expect they will be required to pay out between £200m and £500m.

Ivan's daughter Patricia said: "To ask for that information after everything he has been through is insulting and unreasonable.

"He had to pack his life together in 48 hours before he left, and now they asking if he happened to keep any copies of his payslips.

"It's quite disconcerting that they are taking such a long time. He's 84 and in good health for his age but they cannot keep him waiting.

"I do feel my father deserves a letter of apology. He was gone for a long time and it's only because the scandal broke that he's back home.

"It's been fantastic having him back. We don't have to worry about him being so far away. He's got to mee the great-grandchildren he didn't know."