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Windrush public meeting reveals shocking stories of lives turned upside down

The full extent of the Windrush scandal is slowly coming to light. On Saturday 28 April I held a public meeting for those affected, and the stories I heard were truly shocking.

Some people have been denied passports, missing out on family events including close relatives’ funerals. Others have lost jobs, been denied access to pensions, had problems with landlords or had problems accessing healthcare. I was particularly struck by the level of distress this is causing elderly people who have contributed to this country for most of their lives and should never have been put in this situation.

Around 30 people came to the event in my constituency of Bristol West, more than half of them with cases which I will be working to resolve with my caseworkers. This was the first such meeting was held by an MP with several Home Office officials in attendance, giving people advice to help people resolve their immigration issues as quickly as possible.

The good news is that for many of these people, it looks like the situation will be quickly resolved, although the promise of sorting it out within two weeks has already been broken.

I will continue to hold the Government to account in Westminster and help people resolve individual problems in my constituency. Part of this work is helping constituents find help – last week I gave several interviews on this, including BBC Radio Bristol, Ujima and the Bristol Post.

How to get help

If you are concerned that you, or a family member, may be affected, and you live in Bristol West, I can help resolve this situation as quickly as possible. Please get in touch on 0117 3790981 or email Thangam.debbonaire.mp@parliament.uk

If you need more information, latest information is available on the their website. You can also contact the Home Office directly, on their free helpline (0800 678 1925) or by email (commonwealthtaskforce@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk). The helpline is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm, and Sunday 10am to 4pm.

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