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Monday 6th July 2020

Sitting in Limbo: Viewers demand compensation for Windrush victims

A powerful and shocking story

BBC viewers have repeated calls for the people affected by the Windrush scandal to be amply compensated for what they went through after watching 'devastating' drama Sitting in Limbo.

The TV film, which aired last night (Monday, June 8) on BBC One, told the heartbreaking story of Anthony Bryan, who was informed he had no right to work in the UK after living here for 50 years and paying taxes.

Sitting in Limbo viewers learned that just a small number of Windrush victims have received compensation (Credit: BBC)

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Anthony came to Britain from Jamaica in 1965, then aged eight.

What happened in Sitting in Limbo?

Sitting in Limbo shows how the care home where he worked sacked him out of the blue. He couldn't access benefits or healthcare. Later, authorities took him to a detention centre in Dorset.

Anthony is one of hundreds of people from the 'Windrush' generation - those who came here after the Second World War from the commonwealth countries - whom the government wrongly targeted as illegal immigrants.

Anthony received compensation, but only for unlawful detention (Credit: BBC)

Over the last few years, it has emerged that UK authorities denied many of them their legal rights - and even had them deported.

At the end of the film, it revealed that as of May 2020, the Home Office had seen 1,275 applications to the Windrush Compensation Scheme. But of these, just 60 had received compensation.

Compensation is overdue.

It also revealed that Anthony received an offer of compensation on June 1 2020, but only for unlawful detention.

After watching Sitting in Limbo, many heartbroken viewers demanded full compensation for the victims of the Windrush scandal.

What did viewers think?

One said, tweeting to Home Secretary Priti Patel: "Disturbing to read that only 13 victims of the #WindrushScandal have so far received compensation. Anthony Bryan was only compensated for being falsely detained. What about lack of earnings, losing his job and home, deterioration in health, yet unable to use NHS? #SittingInLimbo."

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Another wrote: "Watched #SittingInLimbo last night and genuinely felt sick. The fact that it even happened is appalling but for the number of people who have actually received their compensation still to be so low is disgusting."

A third said: "A powerful watch #SittingInLimbo. Ashamed and disgusted of our government. Compensation is overdue #Windrush. #windrushgeneration deserves better, much better. Well done to all involved in helping bring this to light."

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Someone else tweeted: "#SittingInLimbo can you believe this happened? All those involved with the action against legitimate citizens with the right to remain in the UK should hold their head in shame. When will all the Windrush compensation be paid?"

Make sure nothing like this happens again

Matthew Rycroft, Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, watched too.

He tweeted: "Just watched #SittingInLimbo drama on BBC. Heartbreaking that so many people faced terrible injustices. Determined to make sure nothing like this happens again. The Home Office continues to offer free hands-on support to those affected."

- Sitting in Limbo is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer

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