Home Office 'tried to bury' report exposing racism that led to Windrush, says journalist

30 May 2022, 12:57 | Updated: 30 May 2022, 14:18

By Sam Sholli

The Home Office "tried to bury" a report which showed that the Windrush scandal's origins lay in decades of racist immigration legislation, journalist Amelia Gentleman has told James O'Brien.

It has been reported that a leaked government report has concluded that the scandal's origins lay in decades of racist immigration law designed to reduce the UK's non-white population.

The 52-page analysis by an unnamed historian describes how “the British Empire depended on racist ideology in order to function” and sets out how this affected the laws passed in the postwar period, the Guardian has reported.

It has also been reported that the report concluded that the origins of the “deep-rooted racism of the Windrush scandal” lie in the fact that “during the period 1950-1981, every single piece of immigration or citizenship legislation was designed at least in part to reduce the number of people with black or brown skin who were permitted to live and work in the UK”.

Speaking to journalist Amelia Gentleman, who broke the story, James said: "How come we have to rely upon you to find this out? Why hasn't it been published?"

In response, Mrs Gentleman said: "So that's what's the really, really peculiar thing about this report.

"It was commissioned two years ago by the Home Office...as part of a kind of self-eduction, self-awareness process. It was delivered by the historian a year ago, and it sat on a desk somewhere without being published internally for a year.

"And it's really, really peculiar. The findings of the report are very, very striking - are very hard-hitting. But probably immigration historians - anybody who studied 20th century history - will not be amazed by the findings.

"The thing that's really odd is that the Home Office tried to bury it."

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