Theresa May should resign, mother of Windrush scandal victim says at his funeral
The mother of a Windrush generation man who died while trying to prove his British citizenship has called for Theresa May’s resignation as her son was laid to rest.
Dexter Bristol died aged 57 while caught up in the immigration scandal which his retired NHS nurse mother, Sentina, claimed caused his death.
A funeral for the Londoner, who moved from Grenada aged eight, was held at Honor Oak Crematorium on Thursday.
Speaking after the south-east London ceremony, Mrs Bristol (pictured) said it was not just former home secretary Amber May who should have resigned but the Prime Minister too for creating the “hostile environment” for immigrants.
“I’m very bitter and angry because it’s not only Amber Rudd, she’s not the only one. I think the majority of them knew about it,” Mrs Bristol, 76, said.
“I think she (Theresa May) should resign as well. I don’t look at her any more, when the TV is on and she comes on I just walk away, I don’t look at her. It’s painful and it makes me angry.
“She’s ruling the whole country and to behave so negatively towards black people, foreigners, I think it’s very, very disgusting and disgraceful.”
Mr Bristol, who lived in Camden, north London, died in March shortly before a letter arrived suggesting a breakthrough in his case.
An inquest is due to be held, but his family lawyer, Jacqueline McKenzie, said it is believed he died of a heart attack or took his own life.
Mrs Bristol brought her son to the UK on her British subject passport in 1968.
His immigration problems began in May last year when he was deemed fit for work after a period of ill-health and offered a cleaning job.
It was withdrawn when he could not prove his citizenship and his right to benefits was then challenged, according to the lawyer.
Ms McKenzie wrote in reflections for the service that he has become a “symbol of the struggle” of the Windrush generation.
She added: “May Dexter rest peacefully, smiling down upon a movement that he has sparked.”
The “hugely intelligent and witty” sports fan and martial artist died after a “10-month trek though an almighty bureaucracy”, she wrote.
Samuel Sandy, from Grenada’s High Commission, offered condolences from the nation’s prime minister, Keith Mitchell, and told the mourners to seek the commission’s help if they have been victims of the scandal.
Recent restrictions in immigration law require paperwork proof of near-continuous residence in the country.
But many of those who arrived in the Windrush era struggled to prove they are here legally because they lack these records, having never applied for British citizenship or passports.
Thousands of landing card slips recording the arrival of immigrants from that generation were destroyed in 2009 by the Home Office.
Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Yui Mok / PA Wire.