Concerned families will gather in Preston next week hoping to unravel the truth behind the Windrush scandal in Lancashire.
As an apologetic Prime Minister Theresa May was meeting Commonwealth dignitaries yesterday, Caribbean community leaders were planning a public meeting to assess if anyone locally had been affected by the Government blunder.
“We need to discover if it has affected anyone in this area and what we can do to help them,” said Adrian Murrell, founder of the Preston-based Windrush Initiatives group.
“There are a lot of people in this area who were part of the Windrush generation - like the ones who came to work at Courtaulds in Preston - and so it affects us all.”
Windrush Initiatives will host the meeting at the Grimshaw Community Centre in Grimshaw Street next Wednesday (6.30pm). It has been called “following numerous reports of adults who came to the UK from the Caribbean as children, being harrassed and subjected to deportation.”
The Government has apologised after it emerged that some people who arrived from the Commonwealth decades ago were being incorrectly identified as illegal immigrants because they entered the country on their parents’ passports and had not applied for their own documentation.
A task force has now been set up to sort out the mess amid claims some people have since been wrongly deported.
Adrian, who organises the annual Windrush Festival in Preston, said: “We didn’t know about this until this week. We aren’t sure what this means and whether anyone from this area has been wrongly deported.
“We will sit down and discuss it next week and see what we can do.”
The Windrush generation were named after the cruise ship SS Empire Windrush which brought workers from Jamaica to the UK in 1948.