Arts & Culture

Guardian LIVE: The Windrush Betrayal

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm | 16 October 2019
The Greenwood Theatre | £18 - £20

Join Guardian reporter Amelia Gentleman and author Colin Grant as they discuss the impact of the ongoing Windrush scandal.

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 and locked up in detention? It was only through Amelia Gentleman’s tenacious investigative and campaigning journalism that it emerged that Paulette was not alone. Thousands of people had been wrongly classified as illegal immigrants; some of them were deported, others lost their homes and their jobs. 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.

In her new book, The Windrush Betrayal, Gentleman outlines the national scandal that arose directly from the government’s hostile environment policy, and gives a voice to the Windrush generation.

Amelia Gentleman said:

“Uncovering the fallout from the government’s decision to create a hostile environment for immigrants was immensely disturbing. This book tells the story of some of the people whose lives were destroyed when they were wrongly targeted by harsh new Home Office legislation. It’s also an account of what it feels like to work as a journalist, trying to understand why law-abiding elderly people were being deported, detained and made homeless by government policies, and, worse still, why no-one had noticed this was happening. I’m thrilled that Guardian Faber is publishing this book.”

In Homecoming, writer Colin Grant – whose Jamaican parents emigrated to Britain – draws on over a hundred first-hand accounts by the women and men who came to Britain from the West Indies in the mid-20th century. These individual stories of hope, humour, anger and wisdom are a portrait of a generation of Caribbean British lives.

Together, Gentleman and Grant will explore the lives turned upside down by a cold and unresponsive immigration policy, and the reparations that still need to be made.

Further speakers to be announced.

You can purchase your tickets here

Free tickets are available to those affected by the scandal; please email events@theguardian.com

Running time: 90 minutes, no interval.

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