Peter Watson GMB member affected by Windrush scandal
1 May 2018

GMB North West & Irish region helped Peter take his battle to parliament, with the help of local Withington MP Jeff Smith,  resulting in his case being fast tracked. His immigration status was resolved with indefinite leave to remain, which he had already been granted in the 1980’s and Peter was able to return to work.

Peter’s father served with the British Army during the second world war and after being encouraged by a British Government to relocate to England, he arrived by ship, with his wife and family in 1961 when Peter was three years old. He has lived and worked in England ever since.

In the 1980’s, having started work, Peter wanted to see a bit more of the world and do a bit of travelling. At the time there was mixed advice about citizenship and passports and Peter took the cheaper option at the time, which was a Jamaican passport with ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain immigration status. He traveled freely.

Peter has worked for forty years, often for local councils and paid his pension and NI contributions all this time. Never has his immigration status been questioned, because ‘’Indefinite Leave to Remain’’ is exactly that and he has every right to work and live in the United Kingdom.

Unfortunately, as revealed in the news recently, the Tory government behind the scenes saw this group of people as an easy target to meet their unfair immigration ambitions. This would cause Peter Watson untold stress, making him feel like an illegal immigrant in a country he has known as home since he was a toddler and putting a huge financial strain on him and his family.

In 2015 AMEY, following government, guidelines stopped Peter from working for three months, during this time without the ability to earn he was forced to use food banks and cancel direct debits for important insurance and of course struggled to meet basic bills. He was even forced to miss his mothers’ funeral abroad, because he would not have been able to return to his home. It was only due to a little inheritance that he could get by financially.

The treatment of Peter Watson and thousands like him is totally unacceptable and surely everyone in the UK will agree.

GMB Rep, Paul Regan, highlighted Peter’s plight with GMB and Giovanna Holt, Senior Organiser, helped Peter to get in touch with his local MP who took up his case forcing the Home Office to fast track it and reinstate his ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ status before any long-term damage was done to his employment status.

The fight will not stop there, Peter Watson deserves compensation for his financial loss and of course for the emotional trauma he has endured. The GMB North West & Irish Region will be with him all the way.

GMB North West & Irish Region

Peter Watson, long term GMB member and victim of the Windrush scandal