26 April 2018
Windrush Generation

Iain Duncan Smith MP for Chingford & Woodford Green statement for Waltham Forest Guardian newspaper 25th April 2018

“I was deeply concerned to discover that some people from the ‘Windrush generation’, who were clearly residents here with a right to be British citizens, were being denied their citizenship because of an absence of papers dating back decades. Whilst there is no doubt that this problem should not have arisen and when it did, should have been identified much earlier, it is right that the Prime Minister has apologised for this failure and pledged to right any injustice. Now, for the sake of any of my constituents who worry they may be caught up in this, it is best to focus on what is being done to put this right, as it is important to do what we can to ease those genuine concerns, and avoid any confusion.  To that end, the government has set up a Taskforce now urgently confirming their rights, including full access to services. On top of that, fees are waived when they apply for citizenship. This applies whether they have current documentation or not. There will for them, no longer be a Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK test. Most of the children of the ‘Windrush generation’ who are in the UK are already British citizens; where this is not the case, any application will be fast tracked and carry no cost. Finally, those who made their lives here but have now retired to their country of origin will be able to come back to the UK, the cost of any fees associated with this process will be waived. For any of my constituents caught up in this, I pledge to help them in every way to resolve their problem and urge them to contact me.”