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Windrush draft report that called Home Office institutionally racist ‘was watered down’

A review that found the Home Office was “institutionally racist” over its treatment of migrants has been watered down, according to a report.

The independent review into the Home Office’s “hostile environment” policy – which was supposed to be published in March last year – was set up following the Windrush scandal in 2018, in which it was revealed that Caribbean migrants to Britain after World War Two were deported despite having the right to live in the UK.

In an early draft of the report, led by inspector of constabulary Wendy Williams, the Home Office was described as “institutionally racist”. But in later versions this characterisation was removed, according to sources reported by The Times.

Previous leaked extracts of the report said the department had been “reckless” and had a “defensive culture” over how it handled immigration. A leak that emerged last week said the government should end the removal of foreign-born offenders who arrived in the UK as children. According to The Times, this recommendation has also been removed from the latest version.

David Lammy, the Labour MP who has campaigned for the rights of Britain’s Windrush citizens, demanded that the “truth must be published in full”.

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