Yesterday in the Commons, Theresa May scored a cheap point during Prime Minister’s Questions by giving a dishonest answer to Jeremy Corbyn’s question about the destruction of the landing cards of the ‘Windrush generation’.
May claimed the decision to destroy the cards had been taken in 2009 under a Labour government. This was untrue – but has nonetheless been repeated as fact by almost every news and politics programme, usually with an accompanying claim that Corbyn made an error by not knowing what May’s response would be.
In video footage of the exchange, Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary Dawn Butler can be seen shaking her head and saying “It’s not true, it’s not true”.
Now Ms Butler has written a scathing letter to May, advising her that she raised a point of order in the Commons over her dishonesty and asking seven pointed questions:
Those questions are:
- Were the landing cards destroyed in October 2010?
- Who was the Home Secretary when the landing cards were destroyed in 2010?
- Were you aware of the above information when you made the statement in the House?
- Why did you take the decision to give this potentially misleading statement to the House?
- How many Commonwealth citizens have been wrongly deported due to these errors?
- When did you decide to tighten immigration controls and create a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants?
- Were you warned that your decision to tighten immigration controls, creating a hostile environment, would harm Commonwealth citizens who were not here illegally?
The former head of the civil service last night put beyond question the issue of whether ministers – including Theresa May – were warned of the consequences and dangers of their policies.
It remains to be seen whether Theresa May will answer the letter and be called to account for her lie to MPs and the nation.
Ms Butler’s letter concerning the reinstatement of Tory MP Anne Marie Morris, in spite of her racist comment, is expected today.
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