I am proud to represent very many members of the Windrush Generation, their children and their grandchildren.
The first of this generation arrived to help rebuild the UK after the Second World War on 22nd June 1948, when the Empire Windrush landed at Tilbury.
Many of the Windrush passengers came to Coldharbour Lane in my constituency to look for work, often going on to play crucial roles in London Transport and the newly-founded NHS.
Some went on to make a significant contribution to our local politics, including Sam King who had served in the RAF during the Second World War and was elected the first black Mayor of Southwark.
The new arrivals brought their art, food and music with them – now all cherished as part of the rich cultural tapestry found in my constituency and across London and the country today.
The Windrush Generation, and their children and grandchildren, have made a huge contribution to our local community, and I am deeply appalled by this government’s treatment of them.
It is disgraceful that the Home Office is deporting residents who arrived in the UK as children, who have lived and worked in the UK their entire lives, who have contributed so much to our society and for whom the UK is home.
Their plight is a direct result of policy created by the government under Theresa May.
On numerous occasions I have worked to support older constituents who face the threat of detention and deportation, or have been refused access to NHS treatment.
I have represented their concerns to the Home Office and Tory Ministers on many occasions.
In Parliament I recently urged the government to commit to reform the immigration system, and I hope that the new Home Secretary Sajid Javid will respond to this call.
In the year of the 70th Anniversary of the Windrush’s arrival we should be celebrating this remarkable generation, not punishing them.
I will do everything possible to keep challenging the appalling way that this government is treating members of the Windrush Generation and, more widely, the policies of the Tories which are proving so hostile to our amazing, diverse communities.