1 CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES
Theresa May is meeting Caribbean leaders in the margins of the Commonwealth Summit today to finally discuss concerns over her government’s treatment of the ‘Windrush generation’. It says a lot about the cack-handed, defensive approach of Downing Street to this whole issue that only two days ago it was insisting no such meeting would take place. Cabinet Office minister David Lidington told the Today prog that as soon as the PM was personally told of the issue “she countermanded the decision of people in her office and agreed to the meeting”.
But it is May herself whose judgement is most in question after Home Secretary Amber Rudd apologised for the Home Office’s “appalling” treatment of undocumented migrants who had arrived here with their parents in the 1950s. “I am concerned that the Home Office has become too concerned with policy and strategy and sometimes loses sight of the individual,” Rudd said. Many blame May’s 2013 policy of making the UK a “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants, restricting access to jobs, driving licences, benefits, health care and accommodation.
Lidington said that ‘we know of no cases’ of actual deportation of the Windrush pensioners but stressed Rudd had asked officials last night to urgently check. Immigration minister Caroline Nokes set the hare running yesterday when she said some people had been ‘potentially’ deported by mistake and if so ‘it’s very much in error’. Even if no one has been actually kicked out, the very fact that many have been sent to detention centres is truly dreadful. The Guardian, which has led the way on this story, was the first to pick up in November the case of Paulette Wilson, 4. IMPOSING SANCTIONS
As Labour’s Barry Sheerman pointed out yesterday, the sheer chaos of the Trump White House does a better job than the Kremlin of undermining the US’s reputation overseas. The latest confusion is over Trump’s refusal to agree fresh sanctions on Russia post-Douma, despite his UN ambassador announcing they’d be unveiled yesterday.
Today, we report on sanctions of a different kind, with new research showing single parents are more likely than any other claimant to suffer withdrawal of benefits. The Gingergbread charity’s analysis of latest Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) data, seen first by HuffPost UK and BBC Radio 5 Live, shows 62% of single parent sanctions were overturned when formally challenged, compared …