The Mirror: Home Office spends £1m for firm to sort Windrush cash as victims die waiting for payout

Home Office spends £1m for firm to sort Windrush cash as victims die waiting for payout

Officials have been blasted for spending over £1million to hire a private firm to dish out compensation for the Windrush scandal.

Thousands, mostly from the Caribbean, were threatened with deportation and denied benefits and NHScare, despite living here for decades.

Ministers set up a compensation scheme in April 2019 but just £75million out of around £300million has been paid. At least 40 victims have died waiting for their money.

The Home Office has now put out a tender for £1.3million to “provide independent advisory services” for those applying and aid “those who require additional support to complete the form”. It aims to have a supplier in place by July.

Campaigner Patrick Vernon OBE – who led calls for Windrush Day, marking the arrival of the first big group of migrants from the West Indies on June 22, 1948 – told us: “The survivors have no confidence in this scheme and the Home Office. It is clear the Home Office do not care about this. Spending another million pounds to try and sort it will end in failure.”

Martin Forde, a lawyer representing victims, said: “We have had stories of people being wrongly denied tens of thousands of compensation and of families torn apart while they await an outcome. It is unacceptable.”

Last month, Baroness Doreen Lawrence joined calls for the scheme to be taken away from the Home Office and run independently. The Home Office said it “remains committed to righting the wrongs of the Windrush scandal”, adding: “Well over half of live cases are less than six months old and compensation pay-ments are made as quickly as possible.”

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