Harriet Harman

Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham. Mother of the House of Commons

Current News

The Home Office provided ‘no credible explanation’ as to why two children of the Windrush generation, Paulette Wilson and Anthony Bryan, were wrongfully locked up twice, depriving them of their human right to liberty, according to a report by the Joint Committee on Human Rights published today.

The Committee, made up of MPs and Peers Chaired by Harriet Harman MP, took evidence in person from Ms Wilson and Mr Bryan, (who have been settled in the UK since childhood) and examined their Home Office cases files. From the outset, the files contained all the evidence that showed that the Home Office had no right to detain them. But the Home Office still wrongly detained them, twice. The analyses of the two case files are set out as appendices to the report.

In evidence to the Committee, the Home Secretary said that he was sorry for what had happened. A senior official from the Home Office called the handling of these cases a ‘mistake’ but could give the Committee no account of any action that had been taken at the department to address the very serious shortcomings in these cases.

Chair of the Committee, Harriet Harman MP, said:

“Our report presents the Home Secretary with an opportunity to address the systemic problems with wrongful detention at the Home Office. Paulette Wilson and Anthony Bryan were both locked up, twice, when the state had no right to deprive them of their liberty. The Department simply ground forward through their processes, clearly traumatising Ms Wilson and Mr Bryan in the process.

“The Home Secretary’s personal commitment to human rights is important. This report should alert him to the scale of human right violations within the powerful department he now leads.

“It is simply not plausible that these cases were just ‘mistakes’. The Home Office did not behave like a department which had discovered it had made a terrible mistake, demonstrating a systemic failure when it comes to detaining individuals and depriving them of their liberty. What happened to these two people was a total violation of their human rights by the state’s most powerful government department. It needs to face up to what happened before it can even begin to acknowledge the scale of the problem and stop it happening again.”

The Committee recommends that:

• The Home Office should review its use of detention for immigration purposes to ensure it doesn’t use it unlawfully and that it is only using these powers where necessary and proportionate.
• There should be a fundamental change in the law, culture and procedures to protect human rights in the work of the Home Office.
• A more humane approach to dealing with people who come into contact with the immigration enforcement system is needed.
• There should be more accountability when initiating or prolonging detention and stronger safeguards overall to prevent against wrongful detention.
• There should be more opportunities to challenge wrongful detention and clear parameters to limit the use of detention.
• Detention should only be used if the Secretary of State is satisfied that he has a power to detain.
• The Government should act immediately to set up a hardship fund to help individuals from the Windrush generation facing financial hardship, as recently recommended by the Home Affairs Committee.

The Committee intends to conduct a further inquiry into the UK's immigration detention system in the Autumn, in which the Committee will consider concerns around the safeguards in the immigration detention system in the UK, including the UK’s lack of a set time limit to immigration detention, which is unusual.

In a recent letter sent to the Home Office, the Committee asked to examine the case files of all those who have been wrongfully detained from the Windrush generation.

Notes to editors:

Harriet Harman MP, Chair of the Committee, wrote to the Home Secretary Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP asking the Home Office to share the case files of individuals who had been detained from the 63 Windrush deportation cases. The Home Secretary previously told the Committee in evidence that the cases of Anthony Bryan and Paulette Wilson – whose Home Office case files were supplied to the Committee- were “appalling and wrong in so many ways.”

FURTHER INFORMATION

Committee Membership is as follows:

Ms Harriet Harman MP (Chair) (Labour)
Fiona Bruce MP (Conservative)
Ms Karen Buck MP (Labour)
Alex Burghart MP (Conservative)
Joanna Cherry MP (SNP)
Jeremy Lefroy MP (Conservative)
Baroness Hamwee (Liberal Democrat)
Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon (Labour)
Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Conservative)
Baroness Prosser (Labour)
Lord Trimble (Conservative)
Lord Woolf (Crossbench)

Website:http://www.parliament.uk/jchr

Home Office approach to Windrush detention cases has been “shocking” concludes Joint Committee on Human Rights

The Home Office provided ‘no credible explanation’ as to why two children of the Windrush generation, Paulette Wilson and Anthony Bryan, were wrongfully locked up twice, depriving them of their...

Monthly report - May / June 2018

Read more

Today I signed a joint letter to the new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, with more than 150 other MPs, calling on him to confirm that he will continue his predecessor's plans to undertake a review into harassment and intimidation near abortion clinics. We must protect women accessing lawful healthcare.

Government must commit to review into intimidation outside abortion clinics - letter to Home Secretary

Today I signed a joint letter to the new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, with more than 150 other MPs, calling on him to confirm that he will continue his predecessor's plans to undertake...

This morning I visited psychiatrists at the Maudsley Hospital. It was very worrying to hear from them that when they have someone who is psychotic and paranoid who needs to be sectioned because they’re a risk to themselves or others in the community, cuts to policing mean there is a shortage of police to go with doctors to safely take the person to the Maudsley and sometimes they have to wait weeks before they get the treatment they so desperately need. During that time that person and their family suffer terribly and sometimes are at risk of violence. The Maudsley team only section someone if they have tried everything else and that person is in crisis. They cannot wait. I’ve written to the Minister to demand that she tackle these unacceptable delays and I’m liaising with the police as well. 

 

South London Maudsley Doctors meeting

This morning I visited psychiatrists at the Maudsley Hospital. It was very worrying to hear from them that when they have someone who is psychotic and paranoid who needs to...

Jo_Johnson_SE5_forum_petition.PNG

Together with Helen Hayes MP, SE5 Forum, South London and Maudsley, King’s College Hospital, Camberwell College of Arts and Southwark Council I am campaigning to re-open Camberwell Station.

This is urgently needed to alleviate delays and dangerous overcrowding at neighbouring stations and especially as there is no tube in Camberwell and Peckham.

Today Helen and I delivered a petition of over 2000 local people’s signatures in support of re-opening the station to Jo Johnson MP, the Minister for Rail.

He told us Transport for London are currently considering the case for re-opening the station and we have written to Commissioner, Mike Brown, to reiterate the intense local concern there is that the station should be re-opened to cope with increasing demand.

Presenting local residents' petition to re-open Camberwell Station

Together with Helen Hayes MP, SE5 Forum, South London and Maudsley, King’s College Hospital, Camberwell College of Arts and Southwark Council I am campaigning to re-open Camberwell Station. This is urgently needed...

Crawford_Walkabout_USE.png

All credit to Abu & Fred Kamara who chair the Crawford Estate tenants association and do fantastic work for the local community. I’m helping residents sort overcrowding & damp problems following my visit with Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle MBE on June 19th.

Crawford Estate Walkabout

All credit to Abu & Fred Kamara who chair the Crawford Estate tenants association and do fantastic work for the local community. I’m helping residents sort overcrowding & damp problems...

Ivydale_USE.png

Great to hear from students at Ivydale about why they love their new school. Congrats to teachers, parents, Hawkins Brown   architects and Southwark Council on the award-winning design!

 

Opening of Ivydale Primary's magnificent new building

Great to hear from students at Ivydale about why they love their new school. Congrats to teachers, parents, Hawkins Brown   architects and Southwark Council on the award-winning design!  

SLG_06.08.18.JPG

Great to visit South London Gallery today and hear from Margot Heller about how they are creating links between great art and the bustling local community. I also got to see progress on the former Peckham Road Fire Station site as it becomes a new contemporary arts space and annexe to the main gallery which is due to open in September 2018.

South London Gallery visit

Great to visit South London Gallery today and hear from Margot Heller about how they are creating links between great art and the bustling local community. I also got to...

Celebrating local people, businesses and charities who do so much for people in Southwark at the annual Southwark Civic Awards in Southwark Cathedral.

A big congratulations to all the well-deserved winners including Bryan Hall, long-time sporting volunteer; Eileen Piper, Secretary of Brandon Estate Tenants and Residents Association; and Mark Webb, Chair of the Camberwell Green Safer Neigbourhoods Team Ward Panel; and to the newly elected Mayor of Southwark, Catherine Rose, and Deputy Mayor, Sandra Rhule.

The celebration came almost a year since the terrible terror attack in London Bridge and it was fitting that the Mayor’s Discretionary Award went to Southwark Police, Southwark Fire Service, the London Ambulance Service and King’s College Hospital. It is important to pay tribute to those that did all they could to help people on that tragic night and helped them recover in the weeks following.

Southwark Civic Awards and Mayor Making Ceremony

Celebrating local people, businesses and charities who do so much for people in Southwark at the annual Southwark Civic Awards in Southwark Cathedral. A big congratulations to all the well-deserved...

What is it like to be a British citizen wrongfully detained? For the first time since the Windrush scandal broke this afternoon a parliamentary select committee heard from people wrongfully swept up in the Government's net and detained, Paulette Wilson and Anthony Bryan. As Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights I invited them to speak to our committee to tell us of the intolerable stress and suffering they faced because the Conservative Government incorrectly targeted them as ‘illegal immigrants’. They told us how difficult it had been being asked to produce pages and pages of documentation they had never needed before, and when they couldn't the devastation and fear of losing their jobs and being detained.

Shockingly they said no one explained the reasons for their detention and release. I've written as the Chair of the Committee to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, to ask for the release Anthony Bryan and Paulette Wilson's entire Home Office case files to them, within 7 days and to summon him to come and give evidence to our committee and explain why these law abiding British people were threatened by the Government and in some cases locked up. It is not acceptable that the Home Office ‘did not know’ how many people from the Windrush Generation had been wrongfully detained.

JCHR_Windrush.JPG

Windrush Generation wrongly detained ask for their Home Office files - my letter to Home Secretary

What is it like to be a British citizen wrongfully detained? For the first time since the Windrush scandal broke this afternoon a parliamentary select committee heard from people wrongfully swept up in the... Read more

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.