The Home Office made repeated errors that caused a man from Manchester who had lived in the UK for more than 50 years to be classified as an illegal immigrant and threatened with arrest, prison and forcible removal, the parliamentary ombudsman has found.
The latest critical official report on the department’s handling of the Windrush scandal detailed how former HGV driver Rupert Everett died in 2019, aged 74, without having received an apology or compensation from the government.
His daughters said he was distressed to have his passport confiscated by immigration officials in 2016, and was terrified at the prospect of being forcibly returned to Jamaica, a country he had visited only twice since leaving in 1962, aged 19.
Daughter Belinda Everett said
The Windrush scandal saw the government apologise for deportation threats made to Commonwealth citizens and their children. Some 500,000 people were caught up in the scandal.
Sukhdeep Singh, caseworker at the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit, who has helped more than 40 Windrush victims, said this was one of the worst cases he had encountered because Mr Everett had clear documentary proof of his right to be in the UK, but officials ignored the evidence.
Ombudsman Rob Behrens, who was asked to investigate the case after attempts to complain through the official complaints mechanism failed, spoke to us earlier.
In a statement, the Home Office told us: