Just one MP in the whole of Greater Manchester voted against the Immigration Act 2014, which included a controversial clause effectively making the Windrush scandal possible.
When the Bill came to Parliament, a total of just 18 MPs across the House opposed the legislation and just one in the whole of the North West and Greater Manchester, Liberal Democrat John Leech.
The Windrush Generation are a collection of around 500,000 people, predominantly from the Carribean, who were brought over to the UK between 1948 and 1971 to help rebuild post-war Britain travelling over on a ship called the ‘Empire Windrush’
Most of the Windrush Generation, many of them the children of parents who had chosen to make the trip, don’t by-and-large have the requisite paperwork to formalise the legitimacy of their right to remain. Many of the children simply came over on their parents’ passports.
In 2012, after increasing fear about the rise of UKIP, the Conservative Government looked to clamp down on immigration, pledging to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands.
Under the pressure of the target, Home Secretary, now Prime Minister, Theresa May, devised a strategy designed to deter and catch illegal migrants, nicknamed the ‘Hostile Environment’.
The Immigration Act 1971 gave those who had moved to Britain before 1971 indefinite leave to remain, including the Windrush Generation who came to Britain to contribute and help rebuild the country post-war.
The ‘Hostile Environment’ was implemented most importantly through the Immigration Act 2014 which was a piece of legislation that increased the powers of Immigration Enforcement Officers and obligated the carrying out of invasive checks and searches of anyone deemed to be a foreigner.
Upon a vote in Parliament, the vast majority of Conservative and Labour MPs either voted for or abstained on the Immigration Bill, allowing it to pass into law and become the Immigration Act 2014.
A total of just 18 MPs opposed the legislation and just one in the whole of Greater Manchester.
John Leech, Liberal Democrat MP for Manchester Withington from 2005-2015 voted against the legislation slamming it as “divisive, dehumanising and a drastic lapse in judgement.”
Alongside Mr Leech were six Labour MPs, including now leader Jeremy Corbyn, and two other Liberal Democrats.
The full list of MPs who opposed:
Abbott, Ms Diane
Leech, Mr John
Llwyd, rh Mr Elfyn
MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan
Skinner, Mr Dennis
Ward, Mr David
Weir, Mr Mike
Whiteford, Dr Eilidh