Home Office Staff to Be Forced to Take Course on History of Race, Migration

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Home Secretary, Priti Patel addresses the delegates on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central on October 1, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will …
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Home Secretary Priti Patel has promised to make the Home Office “more diverse” and “more compassionate”, with department staff set to be forced to takes courses on the history of race and migration.

The Conservative minister made the remarks on Tuesday in response to a report sparked by the ‘Windrush Scandal’, where some migrants from the Caribbean were erroneously deported — however, others were repatriated because they were found to be convicted criminals. The affair had brought down a previous Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, in 2018.

Current Home Secretary Patel said in an address to the House of Commons that she wants a “fair, humane, compassionate and outward-looking Home Office that represents people from every corner of our diverse society”.

She said: “What happened to the Windrush generation is unspeakable and no-one with a legal right to be here should ever have been penalised.

“I’ve tasked my officials to undertake a full evaluation of the compliant environment policy and measures individually (and cumulatively) to make sure the crucial balance is right.

“I have asked them to evaluate the changes that were made to immigration and nationality laws over successive governments to ensure that they are fit for purpose for today’s world.”

Staff will be expected to attend training sessions on the history of race and migration, in accordance with the review conducted by inspector of constabulary Wendy Williams, who Patel said at a recent Home Affairs Committee claimed was just a “fraction away from calling the Home Office institutionally racist”.

“Mandatory training is being introduced for new and existing members of Home Office staff to ensure that everyone working in the Department understands and appreciates the history of migration and race in this country,” the Home Secretary said, adding that “all new policies” will be “developed in an inclusive way, factoring in the cultural and historical context”.

There will also be “reconciliation events” to “rebuild the relationship” between those connected to Windrush and the Home Office.

The minister also complained of the lack of racial diversity in senior management roles in the Home Office and that not enough people looked like her, saying: “There are simply not enough individuals from black, Asian or minority ethnic staff working at the top in senior roles and there are far too many times where I am the only non-white face in the room.”

Much of the left’s criticism of the government has been over the “hostile environment” to illegal immigration, where the government sought to make it difficult for illegals to stay in the country. However, even immediately after the revelations of the Windrush deportations, a poll found 71 per cent of Britons backing the “hostile environment”, with just 15 per cent opposed. Such ‘hostile’ measures they supported included people having to prove they have a right to be in the country before accepting a job offer (82 per cent in favour), renting a house (74 per cent), or registering with an NHS doctor’s surgery (79 per cent).

“In other words, just because the public think the government’s handling of the Windrush generation has been poor, it doesn’t follow that they have stopped supporting the policies that caused those difficulties,” pollster YouGov concluded at the time.

The fallout from the Windrush affair continues into 2020, with protest from 170 MPs in February over the planned deportation of 50 people to Jamaica, despite every person scheduled to be repatriated having been convicted of a “serious offence” and having “received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more”.

The then-leaked Windrush report said that the UK should stop deporting foreign criminals who had arrived in the UK as children, with far-left former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott using the line of thinking to object to the deportations.

The next day, just 17 criminal migrants were sent back to Jamaica, after a court order prevented the departure of 25 individuals so that they could appeal the decision. Those who stayed to try to overturn their removal include a man who stabbed another man to death outside of a London pub. Another man had raped a teenaged girl in Bristol and groomed and abducted another. Others who should have been deported included those with firearms offences, violent offences, sexual offences, and drug offences.

The Times reported on Wednesday on a government report revealing £2.2 million worth of taxpayers’ money was wasted on cancelled deportation flights because failed asylum seekers had been granted last-minute appeals.

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