ABOUT THE WINDRUSH SCANDAL PROJECT

This three-year research project seeks, for the first time, to produce a scholarly examination of the so-called Windrush Scandal within a fully transnational framework, one that properly considers the agency of a wide variety of official and non-official actors from both sides of the Atlantic and the role of the post-colonial and Commonwealth contexts of international relations. 

People from Commonwealth Caribbean states who arrived in the UK before the 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act came into force generally had the right to enter and remain in Britain by virtue of being Citizens of the UK and Colonies (CUKC).  The key objective of the Windrush Scandal in a Transnational and Commonwealth Context is to develop a unique digital research resource of extended interviews on the national and diplomatic activism around the Windrush scandal, supported by digitized government documents from the British archives and Caribbean government records. Oral and archival research methodologies will be combined to explore the links between the apparently distinct spheres of international diplomacy and community activism, providing insights into, on the one hand, unconventional methods of public diplomacy by Commonwealth representatives, and on the other the ways in which this international support enhanced and amplified the community-based campaigning and investigative reporting.  Exploring these links will provide the central, overarching focus of this project.

 

Alexander Prospere

Alexander arrived in the UK in February 1961, aged 19. He obtained his British Passport in 1971 and it expired in 1981.  He paid £10 for the passport and £5 to register as British.  When it expired he was told he had to apply for a St Lucian passport and that was the...

Alissandra Cummins

Alissandra Cummins is Director of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society. An art historian, educator and scholar, she is also the former president of the International Council of Museums and is currently president of the International Coalition of Sites of...

Aloun Ndombet-Assamba

Aloun Ndombet-Assamba served as Jamaica High Commissioner in London between 2012 and 2016. She is a politician, diplomat and lawyer who served as the Minister of Tourism, Entertainment and Culture for Jamaica. She is a former Member of Parliament representing Saint...

Amelia Gentleman

Amelia Gentleman is an award-winning Guardian journalist and author of 'The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment'. She is largely attributed with having broke the scandal after publishing a series of stories in The Guardian newspaper about people from...

Andrew Wynter

Andrew Wynter is the Chief Executive Officer for the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) in Jamaica.The other thing too is we have the Registrar General Department. They deal with marriage certificates, birth certificates, deed poll and other identity...

Anonymous Windrush Survivor

Anonymous Windrush Survivor was born in the Eastern Caribbean and brought up by extended members of his family.  When he attempted to join his parents, both of whom were settled in the UK, his application was rejected.

Arthur Snell

Arthur Snell was the British High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago from 2011 until 2014. He currently works as a political commentator and writer. He is the author of "How Britain Broke the World: War, Greed and Blunders from Kosovo to Afghanistan,...

Arthur Torrington CBE

Arthur Torrington CBE was born in British Guiana and moved to the UK in the 1960s as a teenager.  In 1996 he and Sam King MBE co-founded the registered charity Windrush Foundation, and The Equiano Society.  Arthur received an OBE for services to Community Relations in...

Bell Ribeiro-Addy

Bell Ribeiro-Addy was born in Streatham and is of Ghanaian descent.  She was Chief of Staff to Labour backbencher, Diane Abbott MP and elected to Labour MP for Streatham in 2019.  She is a staunch advocate of reparations and is currently chair of the All Party...

Birmingham Focus Group

This interview took place with three Birmingham residents Ossy, Miss Brown (Leonora) and Blossom. Miss Brown arrived in the United Kingdom in 1958, Blossom arrived in 1964. Ossy was born in Birmingham in 1963 to Jamaican parents. Together, they share their memories of...

Buddy Larrier

Reverend Buddy Larrier has been an active mental health campaigner for decades. He was a bus driver but was detained in Bexley Mental Hospital and lost his job. His story is featured on the UK television programme Politics of Madness. Buddy, currently based in...

Cecil Gutzmore

Cecil Gutzmore was born in Jamaica in the 1940s and moved to the UK to join his family in 1961. He is a veteran community activist, retired academic (historian) and independent researcher.Transcript [coming soon].

Charlotte Tobierre

Charlotte Tobierre was born in Essex to parents of Saint Lucian and English heritage. She became an active member of Windrush Lives as she came increasingly aware of the problems that faced member of the Caribbean-descended communities. Her father, Thomas Tobierre,...

Charlton McFarlane

Charlton McFarlane is the Chief Executive Officer at the Registrar General Department, the only repository in Jamaica responsible for birth, marriage and death records. The RGD was first established in Spanish Town in 1879. The building relocated in 1996 and now...

David Comissiong

David Comissiong is the Barbados Ambassador to CARICOM. He is the former head of the Barbadian government’s Commission for Pan-African Affairs and the founder of the Clement Payne Movement. A vocal critic of imperial hegemony in the region, Ambassador Comissiong is...

David Fitton CMG

David Fitton CMG was British High Commissioner to Jamaica from 2013 until 2017 where he was responsible for both UK-Jamaica and UK-Bahamas affairs.[T]he terminology is interesting. You say British nationals. In the eyes of the Home Office, they might not have been...

David Lammy

The Rt Hon David Lammy MP was born in the UK to parents of Guyanese heritage. He studied law at SOAS and became the first Black Briton to attend Harvard Law School, where he graduated with a Master of Laws degree in 1997.  In 2000 he was elected to the London Assembly...

Dawn Butler

Dawn Butler’s parents came to the UK from Jamaica in the 1950.  She is Labour MP for Brent Central and has been a MP continuously since 7 May 2015.  She recently launched the Windrush 100 Network in the House of Commons (December 2023).[coming soon].Transcript [coming...

Dawn Hill CBE

Dawn Hill CBE played a leading role in setting up and running the governance of the Black Cultural Archives (BCA) when she worked alongside its founding chair: the community activist, photographer, historian, and educationalist, Len Garrison (1943-2003).  She became...

Deborah Grandison

Deborah Grandison was born and registered in the United Kingdom in 1973, the year the Immigration Act 1971 came into force. She was issued with a birth certificate by the London Borough of Wandsworth. The Act restricted Commonwealth migration into the country and...

Declan Owens

Declan Owens was a solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors who specialized in labour law and human rights.  He is a co-chair of the Executive Committee of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers and European Lawyers for Workers Network. Transcript [coming soon].

Deryck Murray

His Excellency Deryck Lance Murray was the Trinidad and Tobago High Commissioner to Jamaica (2019-2023). Murray captained the Trinidad and Tobago cricket team from 1976 until 1981, twice winning the World Cup.Imagining what somebody may have got stamped in their...

Dr Joe Aldred

Dr Joe Aldred is a retired Christian Ecumenist, writer, speaker and broadcaster.  He was a member of the Windrush cross-government working group. He resigned from the group in protest at the government’s failure to repeal its hostile environment legislation. This...

Dr Marcia Burrowes

Dr. Marcia Burrowes is Lecturer in Cultural Studies, founder of the Cultural Studies course and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Culture, Creative and Performing Arts at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus in Barbados.[Speaking about the term 'Windrush']...

Dr Natalie Dietrich Jones

Dr Dietrich Jones is a Research Fellow at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus in Kingston, Jamaica. She is an expert in migration, border politics and geographies with a specific...

Dr Pamela Franklin

  Dr Pamela Franklin was born in the early 1960s in Brixton to parents of Barbadian heritage.  Her career as a IT trainer was interrupted in 2011/2012 when she took ill and ended up with a serious spinal disability.  The Caribbean Social Forum, of which she is...

Fiona Bawdon

Fiona is a legal affairs journalist, researcher and campaigner against social injustice on issues covering legal aid, immigration, women, youth and crime.  She is the communication consultant to We Belong: Young Migrants Standing Up, the co-founder and director of...

Gertrude Ngozi Chinewundoh

Gertrude Ngozi Chinewundoh is secretary of the Ebe Union UK, a community organisation.  She is a member of Windrush Lives and works to raise awareness among the British public that the scandal has impacted people from the new Commonwealth and not solely people from...

Glyn Williams

Glyn Williams is former Director General for Policy and Strategy in the Border, Immigration and Citizenship system in the Home Office. He led on the design of the UK's immigration system post-Brexit and has worked on reforming the UK's non-EEA immigration system. From...

Grace Brown

Grace Brown is a public law practitioner with a particular focus on human rights, immigration and refugee law.  She commenced practice in 1995 and was awarded the 2021 BSN Lawyer of the Year, in the Chambers category, at the UK Diversity Legal Awards.  She is joint...

Guy Hewitt

Reverend Guy Hewitt was the High Commissioner of Barbados in London from 2014 until 2018. He is an outspoken critic of the Windrush scandal and has written numerous articles and opinion pieces about the issue.  I think that it's important for migrants in this...

Jennifer Housen

Jennifer Housen is barrister-at-law, England and Wales and attorney-at-law New York and Jamaica. For years, she warned about the problems that persons of Caribbean heritage were facing in the United Kingdom and toured the UK to advise persons with the right of abode...

Jerome Chew A Tow

Jerome Chew A Tow was born in British Guiana in the late 1930s and came to the UK when he was 18 years old.  In this interview he talks about his life in the UK and how a trip to Ghana resulted in the confiscation of his passport.

June Elizabeth White Smith Gulley

June Elizabeth White Smith Gulley was born in the UK to parents of Jamaican Heritage.  She has been a strong advocate of Caribbean descended communities since the 1980s when she first realised that her status as a British citizen could easily have been removed from...

Kaye Hall

Kaye Hall is the Education and Community Outreach Officer at the Barbados Museum & Historical Society (BMHS). With funding from EU-LAC Museums, in 2018 she was part of a team working with the University of the West Indies (UWI), the BMHS  and the University of...

Kevin Isaac

His Excellency Dr Kevin Isaac has been the High Commissioner of Saint Kitts and Nevis to the United Kingdom since January 12 2011....Brexit played a role because we started looking at the offers being made to Europeans. When Brexit happened, you [had] two years to...

Martin Forde

Martin Forde KC was born in the UK to parents of St Lucian and Barbadian heritage.  He has a practice in 1 Crown Office Row (1 COR) which covers all aspects of Health Law.  He was invited by Sajid Javid MP to oversee the design of the Windrush Compensation Scheme as...

Mary Atkinson

Mary Atkinson is Campaigns and Networks Manager of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI).  The JCWI has a long history of supporting grassroots communities who status in the UK has been threatened and eroded by ever-changing immigration legislation. ...

Michael Russell Profitt, MBE

Michael Russell Profitt MBE was born Russell D’Anjou in British Guiana (present-day Guyana) in the late 1940s.  In this interview he talks about migrating to Britain, aged 13, to join his mother and other siblings who were already resident in England.  He shares...

Neil Mukherjee

Neil Mukherjee was born in Huddersfield in the early 1970s to parents of Indian heritage.  He became involved in community activist in 2018 and runs the Windrush Commonwealth Service Oxford CIC.Transcript [coming soon].

Nick Nason

Nick Nason has worked as an immigration lawyer for over ten years.  In 2017 he founded his own practice, Edgewater Legal and is their Principal Lawyer.  He was previously a solicitor and in-house advocate at Luqmani Thompson (2010-2015) and worked with the...

Patrick Ashworth

Patrick Ashworth was the British High Commissioner to Belize from 2008 until 2013. He was also stationed in Saint Lucia working with the British High Commission to process visas.The problem seems to have been that the children of the people that came didn't know that...

Professor Hamid Ghany

Hamid Ghany is Professor of Constitutional Affairs and Parliamentary Studies. He is former Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) and former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences (2003-2012) at the University of the West...

Professor Patrick Vernon

Professor Patrick Vernon, OBE is a social commentator, campaigner and cultural historian.  He led the campaign for a national Windrush Day and as details of the Windrush Scandal became to emerge, he kick-started the campaign for an amnesty for the Windrush...

Rachel Okello

Rachel Okello was born in Cardiff to parents of Grenadian heritage.  She is a solicitor of over 20 years and specialises in UK immigration, nationality and deportation law.  She is currently based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and works at Rogols...

Rev Canon Christian Weaver, MA, CBE

Rev Canon Christian Weaver, MA, CBE is the spiritual leader and National Superintendent for the Pilgrim Church, UK.  He was born in Antigua and moved to the UK in the 1960s to study art at Leicester College of Art.  He served for 20 years as a Magistrate on Nottingham...

Rev Clive Foster, MBE

Rev Clive Foster is a senior pastor in the church, supporting the Local Superintendent and Ministry of the Pilgrim Church.  He is also a social justice campaigner, founder of Nottingham Windrush Support Forum and the Vice Chair of the Windrush National Organisation....

Richard Black

Richard Black was born in Saint Lucia and grew up in the UK. He found himself locked out and de facto stateless when he travelled with his then wife for an extended holiday in Trinidad. While overseas, his Home Office-issued passport expired. At around the same time,...

Roland Houslin

Roland Houslin was born in the UK in the late 1960s to parents of Jamaican heritage.  He served in the British army for eleven years.  His family were directly impacted by the ruling, which prevents the return to the UK of people with ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’...

Seth George Ramocan

His Excellency Seth George Ramocan was Jamaica High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 2016 until 2022. In addition to being a pastor and an active member of the church, he was Consul General to Toronto, Canada from 2009 until 2014. During the 1980s, Mr Ramocan...

Sir Mark Trevor Phillips, OBE

Sir Mark Trevor Phillips OBE is a journalist and business leader.  He was author of A Contemptuous Betrayal of the British Tradition of Fair for the Daily Mail This piece has been described by Professor Patrick Vernon as critically important in that it gained the...

Sonia Winifred

Lambeth Cllr Sonia Winifred is a Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture.  She talks in her interview about the activism in Brixton and her involvement in community outreach in the wake of the Windrush Scandal.Transcript [coming soon].

Thomas Tobierre

Without a passport or birth certificate he initially found it difficult to provide that he’d been living in the UK for decades and thus unable to obtain the required document. Around the stay time his mother passed away and his wife was diagnosed with stage four...

Tony Smith

Tony Smith was Director General of the UK Border Force and retired in March 2013 after 40 years with the Home Office. He now works as a global border security consultant, Managing Director of Fortinus Global Ltd and chairman of the International Border Management and...

Victoria Dean

Victoria Dean was the British High Commissioner to Barbados, and non-resident High Commissioner to Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines from 2013 until 2016. Formerly a career diplomat working in...

Yvonne Grant MBE

Yvonne Grant MBE is the founder of the Open Arms Development Centre, a homeless shelter in Kingston, Jamaica which provides accommodation, training and support to persons deported by the Home Office to JamaicaA lot of them don’t think they’re Jamaican because,...

KEY WINDRUSH SCANDAL PROJECT OUTPUTS

The oral history interviews for this project explore the extent to which the complexities and ambiguities of the law governing nationality exacerbated confusion around competing notions of Caribbean and British identity and belonging. They seek to identify the extent to which members of the diaspora community were aware of changes to their rights and obligations brought about by successive acts of parliament from 1962, and the stages by which it became clear that significant numbers of people were having their right to remain in the UK challenged.

Interviews Overview

30 interviews focus on the response of Caribbean governments and their representatives in London to the legal restrictions imposed on immigration to the UK from the Caribbean from the early 1960s, and the plight of those members of the diaspora community, whose right to remain in the UK was challenged by the British state.  The other 30 interviews focus on members of the diaspora community, those who found themselves under threat of deportation or actually deported, and their supporters and legal and political representatives. 

Archival Research in the Caribbean & the UK

This oral history research is supplemented by archival research in collections in the UK and the Caribbean. This includes recent project visits to Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. Selected documents have been digitized and will be made available on the project website alongside the recordings of the interviews and supporting explanatory materials. We expect the research resources we produce to be widely used by academics and students producing undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations.

Partnership with the Black Cultural Archives & the British Library

In partnership with the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, the team will seek to ensure the broadest possible dissemination with a special seminar at the Black Cultural Archives for community activists on the project’s findings. Our articles for the British Library’s ‘Windrush Stories’ website will enable us to demonstrate the relevance of our project materials to a range of researchers and educators.

Project Roadshow & Windrush Scandal Podcasts

In 2024, we will be staging a project ‘roadshow’ which will visit cities across the UK with significant Caribbean communities. This is with the aim of presenting the findings of our project and sharing the oral history interviews with as broad an audience as possible. We are also planning a series of podcasts produced by the project team which will be aimed at those outside the academy with one specifically aimed at pupils taking the OCR History GCSE module ‘Migration to Britain, 1000-2010’.

Seminars & Training for Government Officials & Diplomats

We will also provide separate seminars aimed at the staff of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the Home Office and the Caribbean High Commissions in London.  

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