THE furore over the scandalous treatment of the Windrush generation shows no sign of abating after a torrid fortnight in which the Government has signally failed to get a grip on a scandal that should never have happened.
Despite the contrition expressed by the Home Secretary Amber Rudd, her resignation last night was inevitable, with relentless calls from Labour for her to go, and unease in Conservative ranks over the way in which the issue continues to be so badly mishandled.
Yet amid the continuing uncertainty over exactly what Ms Rudd knew, and when, about the mistreatment of Commonwealth citizens, certain things are clear.
One is the need to enshrine new protections in law to ensure that such a scandal can never happen again. Another is that an independent inquiry takes place to establish precisely where accountability should sit.
That inquiry must scrutinise both Ms Rudd and her predecessor as Home Secretary, Theresa May, as well as civil servants. Those officials, it has been suggested, failed to adequately brief Ms Rudd on the matter of the removal of citizens classed as illegal immigrants.
Nevertheless, civil servants act at the behest of Ministers, and ultimately accountability must lie with their political masters.
Yet it is not political careers that should be at the forefront of the Government’s efforts to right this wrong, but the people who have suffered by it. Honest, hard-working people, many now in retirement, who after a lifetime of paying their taxes and helping Britain prosper have found themselves deported or refused NHS treatment.
They are the real victims, and their plight risks being overlooked amid the political point-scoring. The Government’s immediate priority should be to ensure that they and their families, who have suffered such heartache over unjust and shameful treatment, receive every possible assistance without delay.