Man who was part of Windrush generation ‘shamefully treated’ – judges

Hubert Howard, who was born in Jamaica and died aged 62 in 2019, could not get ‘formal documentation of his immigration status’

27 July 2022

A man who travelled to Britain in 1960 when three as part of the Windrush generation was “shamefully treated” because he could not get “formal documentation of his immigration status”, senior judges have said.

Three Court of Appeal judges said in a ruling on Wednesday, on the latest stage of a citizenship dispute, that Hubert Howard, who was born in Jamaica and died in Britain aged 62 in 2019, had suffered “serious problems” from being subject to a “hostile environment”.

Lord Justice Underhill, Lord Justice Baker and Lady Justice Elisabeth Laing said Mr Howard’s family had been compensated under the Windrush Compensation Scheme for the “way in which he was treated”.

“He came to this country, at the age of three, with his mother in November 1960,” said Lord Justice Underhill.

“He lived here until his death on 12 November 2019.

“Throughout that period he was … entitled to reside in the UK, latterly on the basis that he had indefinite leave to remain; and he did not require any individual grant of permission to do so.

“He was thus a member of the so-called ‘Windrush generation’.”

UK Immigration – West Indies – Empire Windrush, Tilbury Docks
Jamaican immigrants welcomed by RAF officials from the Colonial Office after the ex-troopship HMT ‘Empire Windrush’ landed them at Tilbury (Archive/PA)

The judge added: “Like many others in the Windrush generation, Mr Howard suffered serious problems from being subject to the so-called ‘hostile environment’ as a result of being unable to obtain formal documentation of his immigration status.”

He said “most seriously”, in 2012, Mr Howard had lost a long-term job as a caretaker after an inspection by immigration officers.

Mr Howard had applied for naturalisation as a British citizen in 2018.

Home Office ministers had refused his application on the basis that Mr Howard did not satisfy the statutory “good character requirement”.

In 2021, a High Court judge said that refusal of Mr Howard’s application for naturalisation had been unlawful.

But appeal judges on Wednesday overturned that ruling, after a Court of Appeal hearing in London, and upheld a Home Office challenge.

Lord Justice Underhill said the appeal decision did not “in any way undermine the recognition that Mr Howard was shamefully treated”.

Lord Justice Baker and Lady Justice Laing agreed.

More from Perspective

Get a free copy of our print edition


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Your email address will not be published. The views expressed in the comments below are not those of Perspective. We encourage healthy debate, but racist, misogynistic, homophobic and other types of hateful comments will not be published.