Early this afternoon, Theresa May lied to the UK people when she told MPs that a decision to destroy landing cards – which could have provided vital proof of the right to live in this country for thousands of ‘Windrush generation’ immigrants – was taken in 2009 by a Labour government and not by her.
But documentary evidence has emerged establishing beyond reasonable doubt that the decision was made in 2010, when May was Home Secretary.
Yesterday evening, before May had even uttered the lie, ITV political editor Robert Peston tweeted snapshots of Home Office documents issued to justify the decision to destroy the documents. Peston was making another point – but he inadvertently exposed May’s lie in advance:
One of the screengrabs shows clearly when the decision was made:
The government and its media allies are trying to explain away the problem by claiming that an ‘operational’ decision by the Border Agency was made in 2010 but the original decision was made in 2009, but a Home Office whistleblower told the Guardian – again, before May’s denial – that the Home Office itself made the 2010 decision – and was warned by staff about the problems it would cause for the Windrush generation.
Yet it proceeded anyway, as the Guardian related:
A former Home Office employee said the records, stored in the basement of a government tower block, were a vital resource for case workers when they were asked to find information about someone’s arrival date in the UK from the West Indies – usually when the individual was struggling to resolve immigration status problems…
The former employee (who has asked for his name not to be printed) said it was decided in 2010 to destroy the disembarkation cards, which dated back to the 1950s and 60s, when the Home Office’s Whitgift Centre in Croydon was closed and the staff were moved to another site. Employees in his department told their managers it was a bad idea, because these papers were often the last remaining record of a person’s arrival date, in the event of uncertainty or lost documents. The files were destroyed in October that year, when Theresa May was home secretary.
Theresa May’s exact claim in the Commons this afternoon was:
The decision to destroy the landing cards was taken in 2009 under a Labour government.
In fact, as the evidence shows, the specific decision to destroy the landing cards was taken in 2010 under a Tory government.
It used to be the case that any government minister caught lying to the public resigned immediately. Boris Johnson lied last month about the proof for the source of the Salisbury toxin and simply vanished from sight while the BBC covered for him.
The BBC is now covering for Theresa May. Her lie is still being propagated by the Corporation, even as other ‘MSM’ allies of the Tories try to explain it away.
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