Home Office staff to have migration and race training after Windrush scandal

All Home Office staff will be trained on the UK’s “history of migration and race” in efforts to address failings which led to the Windrush scandal.

The move is part of a series of measures set out in an improvement plan which seeks to overhaul the culture of the department so staff are “focused on people” and not cases.

Home Secretary Priti Patel branded it an “unprecedented programme of change” to make the Home Office “fit for the future”.

The document, published on Wednesday, also reiterated Ms Patel’s pledge to review the hostile environment policy as recommended by Wendy Williams in the Windrush Lessons Learned Review among 30 other suggestions for improvement.

The scathing report found the scandal was “foreseeable and avoidable” and victims were let down by “systemic operational failings” at the Home Office.

Priti Patel
Priti Patel

The Government department demonstrated “institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness” towards the issue of race and the history of the Windrush generation, Ms Williams found.

Ms Patel later said the review had been “just a tiny fraction away” from branding the Home Office “institutionally racist”.

Ms Patel said: “I am leading an unprecedented programme of change to build a Home Office fit for the future, that serves every part of the community it serves.

“The Windrush generation have waited too long for justice and my resolve to deliver for them and their descendants is absolute.

“This is the first part of our plan to deliver meaningful change.”

In response to the publication, Ms Williams said the department had a “duty” to those affected by the scandal to deliver on its commitments, adding: “It must now act swiftly to open itself up to greater external scrutiny and to implement wide-ranging cultural change.”

She said the plan set out by the department was “comprehensive and ambitious in many respects” but warned some plans, like the appointment of a migrants’ commissioner require “greater clarity and pace if the department is to be successful in its aim to rebuild public trust”.

Ms Williams will review the progress the department has made after a year.