Cllr Maria Kay gave her maiden speech in the debate at Wednesday 10th Full Council meeting on the motion to #WidenWindrush and to deliver justice for the Windrush generation.
I just want to start by saying how glad I am that we can come together today to support this motion. I’m not Caribbean, I’m African – but I know what it’s like to come to this country, all alone, just 7 years old, to join my mum here for a better life.
I can’t imagine what it would be like, in a year, or ten or thirty – after I’ve worked hard, paid my taxes and contributed to this community – for this country to then turn around and tell me that I’m no longer welcome. That I can no longer use the NHS that my mum has worked in for the last 25 years. That I can no longer rent a house. That I have to move back to the country of my childhood and start my entire life again from scratch.
But this is exactly what this Tory Government did to so many of our residents. Without shame, apology or regret until they got caught.
How dare they?
No seriously, how dare they?
How dare they attack our community, deny responsibility and then carry on in government like nothing has happened?
I’m really proud of everything that councillors like Lib and Sonia, MPs like Helen and Chuka have done to raise this issue and get the Government moving on this. But while the Government may have apologised, people from the windrush generation are still facing delays and hardship. Even worse, those who joined their families after 1973 are still at risk of detention and removal – and the Government aren’t doing anything to make it right.
That’s why I’m glad to speak in support of this motion. To continue the campaign for all those descendants of windrush and make sure that we do everything that we can locally to champion the rights of those affected here in Lambeth. We must carry on until every single person who has had their lives disrupted by this government has been properly compensated. Until not a single person who has built their life here faces the risk of being deported. We continue to campaign until everything is put right.