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Local MP fights to bring local residents still stranded abroad back home

Matt Western, MP for Warwick and Leamington has on Wednesday called on Ministers to intervene on cases of local residents who are still stranded in India and elsewhere as a result of the Coronavirus crisis. He believes that the Government’s inaction in some cases had ‘echoes of the Windrush scandal’.

Speaking in Parliament, Matt raised the case of two Leamington residents, Lakshar Singh Jhutti and Surinder Jhutti, who are being denied consular support and spaces on the flights back from India, because they don’t have a British passport. However, Matt explained that the couple both have what is known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’ as they have lived in the UK for almost 50 years, constantly been in work, and paid their taxes.

Matt also noted that Surinder is a specialist neurological care worker, working at the Castel Froma care home in Leamington.

The Minister, Nigel Adams, agreed to look into the matter.

Matt’s question follows his initial intervention back on the 24th March, where he called on the Government to charter more flights and bring home stranded constituents, such as Kam Dhesi, who are thankfully now home.

Speaking about his campaign to bring back stranded residents, Matt said:

“It’s over a month since I originally asked Dominic Raab to repatriate Warwick and Leamington residents who were stranded abroad. After consistent lobbying, many of the residents I was representing have now thankfully managed to get home. However, of the 20,000 who are stuck in India and still waiting, 40 are local constituents who I continue to try and help.

I find it almost scandalous that people who have indefinite leave to remain such as the Jhutti’s should not be prioritised for repatriation and have even been denied consular support, simply because they don’t have British passports. They have lived here for almost 50 years, always worked, and paid their taxes. Given the crisis, we also urgently need Surinder back doing her job as a specialist neurological care worker in one of Leamington’s care homes.

To me, this issue has echoes of the Windrush Scandal.

I’m pleased that the Minister agreed to look at the Jhutti’s case, but I fear that their situation is not the exception, but rather the rule.

As Germany has done on an extraordinary scale (30 times what we’ve done), the Government must put on more flights for stranded residents to get everyone home urgently.”