Brent Greens: Windrush campaigner John Mansook among 17 candidates hoping to take party’s first council seats
PUBLISHED: 11:00 20 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:00 20 April 2018
A campaigner who helped put the plight of Windrush migrants onto the national agenda is standing for election in Queen’s Park.
As part of Greens of Colour UK, Green Party candidate and Brent chairman John Mansook helped highlight the risk of deportation facing the children of British Caribbean immigrants, who were granted leave to remain between 1948 and 1973 but no longer have paperwork to prove it.
John, a 34-year old children’s sports coach and exercise specialist, is one of 17 Green candidates standing in Brent on May 3.
Greens of Colour UK is a group within the Green Party working to increase representation for minorities.
Bristol Green councillor Cleo Lake started the #JAMnesty petition earlier this month to stop the deportation threats to the children of the Windrush generation and other UK residents from the Commonwealth. The petition has so far received more than 18,000 signatures.
“One of the most important things to me is representation, not just in Brent, but all across Britain,” John told the Brent & Kilburn Times. “Our entire philosophy is based on social justice and grassroots democracy, and you can’t have those without proper representation for everyone.”
Who are the Windrush Generation?
In 1948, the ship MV Empire Windrush, arrived in Essex, bringing workers from Jamaica and other Caribbean islands to the UK to fill a labour shortage after the Second World War.
Many of the immigrants brought their children and were promised the right to remain in the UK.
These arrivals lasted until the UK Immigration Act of 1971. After that, new immigration applicants needed a work permit first and to prove that a parent had been born in the UK.
Commonwealth citizens and their families already living in the UK were allowed to remain indefinitely, but in 2010, the Home Office destroyed the documents of those who had been part of the Windrush generation, making it impossible for the generations of children of those immigrants to prove their legal right to stay. Many never had passports.
This has left an estimated 57,000 people threatened with potential deportation and cuts to their benefits and services.