In a speech in parliament, David Lammy confronted the government over the suppression of the Windrush lessons learned review and a deportation flight scheduled this week.
In an urgent question, he asked the government: “To make a statement on the suppression of the Windrush learning review and the implications for the deportation flight that’s set to leave the country on Wednesday.”
The Tottenham MP reminded colleagues of the Windrush scandal, in which 164 people were detained and deported and 5,000 were denied access to support from public services to which they were entitled.
He said: “In the wake of that they suspended flights to Jamaica. The question today is why have they resumed those flights?”
He asked the ministers: “When will we see this lessons learned review?… We are almost now two years on and people watching see the way this government holds in such disrespect the contribution of West Indian, Caribbean and black people in this country. When will black lives matter once again?”
Speaking for the government, Kevin Foster said that he would not comment on leaks, but told MPs that the report had not been suppressed and was yet to be submitted to ministers.
2 years ago, the government was exposed for detaining and deporting at least 164 black British citizens.
It suspended flights and set up a Review.
Why has it restarted deportations before the Review is implemented?
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) February 10, 2020
Foster stated that it would be for the Home Secretary to publish the report once she had received it from Wendy Williams, HM inspector of constabulary.
He claimed that it was important to give Williams “the time and space to produce her report without political interference”.
The Home Office has chartered a flight for the February 11th that contains people who have been resident in the UK for decades.
Up to 50 people are due to be removed from the country and passengers are expected to include a man who has lived in the UK since the age of five.
A letter has been organised by Labour MP Nadia Whittome calling for the publication of the lessons learned review before the government conduct any further deportations.
It has been signed by over 150 cross-party MPs and Lords and was sent to the Prime Minister on Sunday asking him to immediately intervene.