The Guardian has been the leading news brand behind the reporting of the Windrush scandal. Reporter Amelia Gentleman uncovered that citizens from the former Commonwealth who had come to the UK in the 1950s and ’60s were increasingly being targeted by the Conservative Party’s tougher immigration policy, aimed at making the UK more ‘hostile’ to illegal migrants.
Gentleman’s determination in pursuing the issue led to the resignation of home secretary Amber Rudd and the government loosening its hostile environment for migrants.
Since her exposure of the scandal, there has been a concerted official effort to clear up Windrush-related problems. About 5,000 people have been granted paperwork confirming their right to live in the UK, of whom more than 3,600 have been given British citizenship.
In October 2022, Gentleman reported that progress with the compensation scheme was slow but that £48.6 million had been paid to 1,213 people.
In recognition of her courageous reporting on Windrush for The Guardian, Gentleman won the Paul Foot award, Cudlipp award, an Amnesty award, Journalist of The Year at The British Journalism Awards and London Press Club Print Journalist of the Year for her Windrush investigations. She also went on to write ‘The Windrush Betrayal, Exposing the Hostile Environment’.
The judges were impressed by the tenacity of Amelia Gentleman’s work, her determination to tell the stories of the victims of the government’s hostile environment policy, and the enormous impact her work had, proving that good reporting really can make a difference.Chair of the Judges at the Paul Foot Award, Padraig Reidy