Mike Hill MP: Treatment of Windrush migrants is ‘national disgrace’

A service to mark Workers Memorial Day in Hartlepool.
A service to mark Workers Memorial Day in Hartlepool.

I agree entirely with David Lammy, MP, when he said that the threat of deportation of children born to people invited to our shores in 1948 from Commonwealth Countries, because of failures in the system to recognise them as UK citizens, is a national disgrace.

I remember Mark and Dermot from school, whose relatives and parents were Windrush migrants from the Caribbean.

Both of my school mates would have been born in the UK but their Mam and Dad, who made this country their home, would potentially have been affected by the perverse ruling that they are ‘illegals’ and therefore not entitled to hold down a job or anything, having paid their stamp and contributed to society for decades.

The Government, under pressure, has apologised and begun to take action to correct the situation, but to this day cannot say how many people have been actually deported. It truly is appalling.

l Theresa May’s decision to bomb strategic targets in Syria was a dark and dangerous moment in British history.

She did so without seeking MPs’ approval, even though as Prime Minister she is accountable to Parliament.

Yes, the authority to deploy the armed forces falls under the power of the royal prerogative and there is no legal requirement for the Government of the day to obtain Parliamentary consent for military action, but in recent years a clear convention for the Government of the day to seek the express approval of the House of Commons before commencing hostile military action has been established.

I’m sorry, but we are not like the USA and Mrs May is not the President of the UK, able to make decisions independently without recourse to us MPs – the representatives of the people.

In my opinion, there was time for Parliament to be recalled so that the voice of the people could be heard and whatever opinion folk hold on this matter, the fact remains that Theresa May has set a dangerous precedent for future military interventions.

l Thousands of former mineworkers are being denied compensation for a condition which ironically also affected former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Earlier this year the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) refused to recognise Depuytren’s contracture as a prescribed disease.

Depuytren is a condition in which the fingers gradually curl over into a claw like state and is common among former pitmen.

The Durham Miners’ Association is fighting to get the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, to overturn the decision by the DWP and I fully support them in that endeavour. Which brings me to the main subject of my column.

Every year, more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don’t die of mystery ailments or in tragic accidents. They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. Workers Memorial Day commemorates those workers.

Workers Memorial Day is held on April 28 every year, and in Hartlepool I’m proud to say that an annual ceremony organised by Edwin Jeffries and the Hartlepool TUC grows from strength to strength and is by far the best commemorative event in the region.

I really do commend the Trade Unions in Hartlepool for promoting this important day and organising a ceremony, which has not only seen many important guest speakers attend like the late UNISON General Secretary Rodney Bickerstaffe and leaders in the field of Health and Safety, but more importantly family members of those who have lost their lives at work.

The annual remembrance and wreath laying ceremony takes place at the Cleveland College of Art and Design, at 1 Church Street (near Christ Church) on Saturday, April 28, and starts at 12.30pm.