The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment
Paulette Wilson had always assumed she was British. She had spent most of her life in London working as a cook; she even worked in the House of Commons’ canteen. How could someone who had lived in England since being a primary school pupil suddenly be classified as an illegal immigrant? It was only through Amelia Gentleman’s tenacious investigative and campaigning journalism that it emerged that thousands were in Paulette’s position. What united them was that they had all arrived in the UK from the Commonwealth as children in the 1950s and 1960s. In ‘The Windrush Betrayal’, Gentleman tells the story of the scandal and exposes deeply disturbing truths about modern Britain.
*LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 2019*
*SHORTISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL WRITING 2020*
‘[Gentleman’s] reporting proves why an independent press is so vital.’ Reni Eddo-Lodge
‘A timely reminder of what truly great journalists can achieve.’ David Olusoga
‘It is impossible to overstate the importance of this heartbreaking book.’ James O’Brien
Amelia Gentleman’s exposé of the Windrush scandal shocked the nation, and led to the resignation of Amber Rudd as Home Secretary. Her tenacious reporting revealed how the government’s ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy had led to thousands of law-abiding people being wrongly classified as illegal immigrants, with many being removed from the country, and many more losing their homes and their jobs.
In The Windrush Betrayal, Gentleman tells the full story of her investigation for the first time. Her writing shines a light on the people directly affected by the scandal and illustrates the devastating effect of politicians becoming so disconnected from the world outside Westminster that they become oblivious to the impact of their policy decisions. This is a vitally important account that exposes deeply disturbing truths about modern Britain.
‘Gentleman boldly chronicles the devastating reality of a scandal that illegalised, imbruted and abandoned British citizens [w]ith the same tenacity that she used to expose the truth of Windrush in the first place’. David Lammy MP
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