News story

PM announces committee to ensure fitting legacy for Windrush generation

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced the establishment of a Windrush Commemoration Committee.

Prime Minister Theresa May has today announced the establishment of a Windrush Commemoration Committee to consider how best to create a permanent, fitting tribute to the Windrush generation and their descendants.

Chaired by Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Floella Benjamin, the cross-party and community-led group will explore a range of options for commemorating the Windrush generation and honouring their legacy.

Options could include a museum exhibition, a naming ceremony or a Windrush statue in an area of the UK which has particular links to Caribbean history.

The committee will be a supported by a secretariat and funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Today marks 70 years since Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury Docks carrying nearly 500 men and women who arrived in Britain from the Caribbean in response to labour shortages in the UK. The ship’s image has since come to symbolise the UK’s diversity – and the huge contribution the Windrush generation has made to all aspects of British life.

The Prime Minister’s announcement follows the government’s announcement of an annual Windrush Day earlier this week, and comes ahead of a day of Windrush celebrations including a National Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey this morning, and a Downing Street Windrush reception later today.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

Many aspects of British society today would be simply unrecognisable without the contributions of the Windrush generation, from our health and transport services to our politics, businesses, literature and culture.

The work of the Windrush Commemoration Committee will ensure that the legacy of Caribbean migrants who arrived here 70 years ago to help rebuild our country and build their lives here, will never be forgotten.

Baroness Floella Benjamin, Chair of the Windrush Commemoration Committee, said:

It’s an honour to have been asked by Prime Minister Theresa May to Chair the Windrush Commemoration Committee. This a significant step in recognising the contribution made to Britain by Caribbean people, and this Committee will make sure the work and sacrifices of the Windrush pioneers will live on in the hearts and minds of future generations.

Published 22 June 2018