Britain's PM apologises to Caribbean leaders for Windrush controversy

British Prime Minister Theresa May has apologised to Caribbean leaders over the Windrush generation controversy, at a Downing Street meeting.

She said she was "genuinely sorry" about the anxiety caused by the Home Office threatening the children of Commonwealth citizens with deportation.

The UK government "valued" the contribution they had made, she said, and they had a right to stay in the UK.

It comes amid reports some are still facing deportation.

The deportation of one man, which had been due to take place on Wednesday, has been halted following an intervention by Labour MP David Lammy.

The Tottenham MP said the mother of 35-year-old Mozi Haynes got in touch saying her son was due to be removed from the country after two failed applications to stay.

In her apology to Caribbean leaders, Theresa May said she wanted to "dispel any impression that my government is in some sense clamping down on Commonwealth citizens, particularly those from the Caribbean who have built a life here".

She said the current controversy had arisen because of new rules, introduced by her as home secretary, designed to make sure only those with the right to remain in the UK could access the welfare system and the NHS.

"This has resulted in some people, through no fault of their own, now needing to be able to evidence their immigration status," she told the foreign ministers and leaders of 12 Caribbean nations in Downing Street.

"And the overwhelming majority of the Windrush generation do have the documents that they need, but we are working hard to help those who do not."

The PM added: "Those who arrived from the Caribbean before 1973 and lived here permanently without significant periods of time away in the last 30 years have the right to remain in the UK.

- BBC

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