In Parliament yesterday, Black Country MP John Spellar launched an attack on the Home Office.

Responding to an announcement on the Windrush compensation scheme, Spellar said that ‘the Windrush scandal was just the most extreme example of the indifference and rank incompetence endemic in today’s Home Office.’

He went on to cite how, in dealing with cases on behalf of constituents with the Home Office, ‘delays and charges are escalating, documents are not returned and often lost, and correspondence takes forever—whether to claimants or, indeed, to their Members of Parliament.’ Spellar told Ministers to get a grip of these problems rather than ‘make repetitious speeches about how tough they are going to be’.

After the exchange, John Spellar said: “I welcome the Home Secretary’s recognition that changes are needed in her Department. I will be writing to the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee to push for a proper investigation into gross incompetence and inefficiency at the Home Office.”

ENDS

John Spellar: I welcome the Windrush announcement, but the Windrush scandal was just the most extreme example of the indifference and rank incompetence endemic in today’s Home Office. Delays and charges are escalating, documents are not returned and often lost, and correspondence takes forever—whether to claimants or, indeed, to their Members of Parliament. Rather than make repetitious speeches about how tough they are going to be, why do Ministers not address the public’s priorities, as the Home Secretary has said, roll up their sleeves and get a grip of this dysfunctional Department? (910225)

 

Priti Patel  

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his comments. He mentioned Windrush and the Department’s inefficiencies of the past, and there are a couple of points that I want to make. Windrush was a stain—let us face it—on the Department and the Government, and we are now working through that; we want to right the wrongs. I hear what the right hon. Gentleman is saying. Do not forget that Wendy Williams’s report basically pointed to the ignorance and thoughtlessness about race and the history of the Windrush generation in the Department, but he refers to something much wider—he has raised this point with me numerous times—which is that we must not treat people like cases. That is a fundamental change that I am trying to bring to the Department. It is taking time, and there is no quick fix. I give him every single assurance that I will continue to work night and day to change our systems and make sure we put people first

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