Theresa May to meet Caricom leaders …”WILL ROWLEY BE A PART?”

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British Prime Minister Theresa May has had a change of heart and will meet with a delegation of Caricom Prime Ministers in London on Tuesday to discuss the threat by the British authorities to deport Caribbean nationals who have been living in the UK for more than 40 years.

Originally, May had blanked Caricom Prime Ministers assembled in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference. She changed her mind after she was pressured to meet with the Caricom Prime Ministers.

The charge will be led by Jamaican Prime Minister, Andrew Holness. But no one knows if our Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, will be part of that meeting. Rowley was more concerned with meeting with energy experts hours after he arrived in London on Monday.

Trinidad and Tobago nationals are among thousands who are affected by this situation. Not a word from Rowley on this!

David Lidington, the UK Cabinet Office Minister, said staff from the Home Office were working to check whether any affected people, who predominantly arrived in the UK as children from the Caribbean, had been removed.

“I talked to the home secretary about this last night, and the position is that we have no information. We do not know of any cases where somebody who has been deported is in this category.

“The home secretary, to double check this, has asked her officials to work through the records methodically, just to check whether anything has gone appallingly wrong in that way, and then we can put it right.”

The shadow home secretary, Diana Abbott, later tweeted: “It’s unacceptable for ministers to claim they don’t know how many Windrush citizens have been deported. A simple matter of checking Home Office records, surely?”

Amber Rudd delivered an unprecedented apology in the Commons on Monday for the “appalling” actions of her department.

The home secretary announced the creation of a new Home Office team, staffed by 20 officials, dedicated to ensuring that Commonwealth-born long-term UK residents would no longer find themselves classified as being in the UK illegally. She also promised that cases would be resolved within two weeks and application fees would be waived.

Lidington added, “The Prime Minister is meeting them today, and the home secretary is meeting a number of Caribbean high commissioners this week. As soon as this issue was brought personally to the attention of the prime minister yesterday, she countermanded the decision of people in her office and agreed to the meeting.”

Lidington said the prime minister had only become aware of the request for the meeting on Monday, despite widespread media coverage of the decision at the weekend.

Lidington denied that the “hostile environment” approach to immigration enforcement put in place by May when she was home secretary had helped trigger the problem, insisting it was the result of decisions made over decades.

“It was clearly right that the home secretary recognised that things had gone badly wrong in respect of this group of people and made a full formal apology to parliament and the public about this yesterday.”

Asked who was ultimately responsible, he replied: “In apologising and setting out the steps to put it right, the home secretary took that responsibility yesterday.”

Rudd told MPs: “Frankly, how they have been treated has been wrong – has been appalling – and I am sorry. That is why I am setting up a new area in my department to ensure that we have a completely new approach to how their situation is regularised.”

She also made a significant criticism of her department: “I am concerned that the Home Office has become too concerned with policy and strategy and sometimes loses sight of the individual. This is about individuals, and we have heard the individual stories, some of which have been terrible to hear.”
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