21/09/2018 19:17 BST

Windrush Scheme To Refuse Applicants Ineligible For Citizenship

The decisions have not been made lightly, the Home Secretary said.

Some members of the Windrush generation are to be refused British citizenship after being deemed ineligible, the Government has announced.

The Windrush taskforce will refuse cases which after “careful consideration” were not eligible for citizenship, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said in an update to the Home Affairs Select Committee on Friday.

This includes people who applied for citizenship from abroad but could not give enough evidence that they settled in the UK before January 1 1973.

The taskforce was set up in April to aid those who were affected by the Windrush scandal after it was revealed some members of the generation had been wrongfully deported.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid

Refusals will also be issued to those who have the right to stay in the UK but did not meet good character criteria due to criminal convictions including murder, child sex offences, supply of drugs and robbery.

Applicants based in the UK who have been refused citizenship will still maintain their right to remain, the Government said.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said “no decision has been taken lightly” and added those affected can request a free review of the refusal from an independent caseworker.

The Government also announced that more than 2,000 people have been granted British citizenship under the scheme.

Some 2,121 people have obtained British citizenship since the beginning of the Windrush scheme, and a further 2,398 have secured documentation to confirm their right to stay in the UK through the Windrush taskforce.

Launched in May, the Windrush scheme exists to enable members of the generation, children born in the UK and those who arrived as minors to apply for citizenship.                                                                                     

Javid said: “We are doing all we can to gather the information needed to enable applications to be processed successfully and quickly. We are looking for reasons to grant rather than refuse but we need to ensure that only those who should be benefiting from this scheme are benefitting.

“All refusals have followed careful and deliberate consideration. No decision has been taken lightly and applicants will be able to have the refusal reviewed free of charge if they disagree

He added: “The Windrush generation have helped build this country as they themselves have built a life here. I am appalled what some people have been through but am delighted that our taskforce is helping so many people to establish their right to be here and gain British citizenship.”

Javid also confirmed that he has sent formal apologies to 15 out of 18 people who were detained wrongfully.

This includes two out of three families who lost loved ones.