Theresa May has personally apologised to the Windrush generation

Theresa May has personally apologised to the 12 leaders of the Caribbean nations for her government's handling of the Windrush generation immigration cases.

The Prime Minister, who is hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London this week, told her counterparts she was adding her own apology to that made by home secretary Amber Rudd in the Commons yesterday "because we are genuinely sorry for any anxiety that has been caused."

She added: "Those who arrived from the Caribbean before 1973 and lived here permanently without significant periods of time away in the last 30 years have the right to remain in the UK.

"As do the vast majority of long-term residents who arrived later, and I don't want anybody to be in any doubt about their right to remain here in the United Kingdom."

May is under pressure to act after it emerged that thousands of people had been threatened with losing access to services such as the NHS, deportation and even detention if they fail to show valid documentation – however in many cases papers were never published.

Yesterday Rudd repeatedly apologised after numerous MPs across the party divides slammed her department's handling of the affair. She also confirmed the launch of a dedicated unit to fast-track cases, and pledged that no one would be "out of pocket".

Labour MP – and son of Windrush immigrants – David Lammy spoke most passionately, describing it as "a national day of shame" that had been brought about by May's "hostile environment" and "far right rhetoric".

"If you lie down with dogs, you will catch fleas," he said.

Today Lammy tweeted about a 75-year-old constituent who has been told she faces deportation. "This makes me so sad and the Home Office must show some compassion," he said.

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