London: A deal has been quietly agreed between the Home Office and Jamaica not to remove people who came to the UK as children on a controversial charter flight to the Caribbean island this week, its high commissioner has said. Seth Ramocan told the Guardian that following diplomatic overtures to the Home Office, officials agreed not to deport Jamaicans who came to Britain under the age of 12. The Home Office has declined to comment and there has been no public announcement. It comes after 82 black public figures – including the author Bernardine Evaristo, model Naomi Campbell and historian David Olusoga – urged airlines not to carry up to 50 Jamaicans on the Home Office deportation flight scheduled for Wednesday.
Home Office charter flights are a common way to remove those classed as having no right to remain, including due to certain serious criminal convictions. The last charter flight to Jamaica was in February; many others due to fly had their deportation halted at the 11th hour due to legal action. Charter flights to Jamaica are particularly controversial because of the Windrush scandal and because some earmarked for deportation came to the UK as children and had families there. In 2018 a Home Office-commissioned report from the former prisons and probation ombudsman Stephen Shaw called for a new approach to the policy of detaining and removing people who had committed crimes but lived most of their lives in Britain. The Home Office has not implemented the recommendation.
Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian. https://is.gd/TNYkdx