Sajid Javid is using the language of slave owners and fascists by insisting illegal immigrants should be subject to a “compliant environment”, a Labour MP has claimed.
In a passionate speech during a debate on the Windrush scandal on Wednesday afternoon, David Lammy launched an attack on the new Home Secretary’s choice of language when it comes to immigration issues.
In his first Commons outing as Home Secretary on Monday, Javid said he was going to move away from the phrase “hostile environment” as it was “unhelpful and doesn’t represent our values as a country.”
He instead said “compliant environment” would be used.
In his rebuke to the Home Secretary this afternoon, Lammy referred to the shared background he had with Javid as a second-generation immigration.
He went on:
“The Windrush community and its ancestors know what hostile and compliance means. We know what compliance means. It’s written deep into our souls and passed down from our ancestors.
“Slaves having to nod and smile when they were being whipped in a cotton field or a sugar cane field were compliant.
“Watching your partner being tied to a tree, beaten or raped, on a plantation, is compliance.
“12million people being transported as slaves form Africa to the colonies is a compliant environment.
“Windrush citizens being abused, spat on, and assaulted in the streets but never once fighting back was a compliant environment.
“Black Britons being racially abused at work but never speaking up because they need to put food on the table know all about a compliant environment.
“Turning the other cheek when the National Front was marching through our streets was a compliant environment.
“Young black men being stopped and searched by the police despite committing no crime and living in fear of the police know what it’s like to be in a compliant environment.
“And thank God that Doreen Lawrence defied that compliant environment.”
The debate took place just hours after Theresa May announced a “full review” of the decisions which led to the Windrush crisis.
At least 1,300 cases of mistreatment are currently being investigated by the Home Office, with children of migrants from the Commonwealth denied housing, NHS care, pensions, benefits, jobs and other basic rights as a result of the immigration crackdown launched when May was Home Secretary.
Asked about the review after PMQs, a Labour spokesman said: “There must be no cover up.”