Windrush victim’s mother accuses UK government of racism | UK news


The mother of one of the victims of the Windrush scandal who died unexpectedly in March has accused the government of racism and said it still doesn’t “really care” about what happened.

Dexter Bristol, whose funeral was held at Honor Oak crematorium in south-east London on Thursday afternoon, died suddenly on 31 March following a 10-month battle to prove he was not an illegal immigrant.

Although the cause of his death is not yet known, pending an inquest in July, his mother, Sentina Bristol, previously said the stress caused by his immigration problems was responsible for his death.

Following the funeral service, she said: “We have not heard a word from anyone at the Home Office. We have had nothing, no note or card or anything.”

She said she wanted to speak out to make sure it didn’t happen to anyone else. “They still don’t really care,” she said. “I wanted to give the new home secretary a chance but I think I should have heard from them. I want to tell them what I think of them. They are responsible people but they don’t care anything about what’s happened.”

She added: “There is only one word for them and that is they are racist. There are so many other immigrants here that are illegal but are from the continent or other places and they are fine but not us because they are racist against the blacks.”

Samuel Sandy from the high commission in Grenada, where the Bristol family originates from, extended “sincere condolences” on behalf of the prime minister of the sovereign state. He said the classification of Dexter Bristol as an illegal immigrant “was wrong and has been proved to be wrong”.

The family’s lawyer, Jacqueline McKenzie, also spoke about Bristol’s experience of being told he was an illegal immigrant.

She said in a speech during the service: “Irrespective of the cause of Dexter’s death, there is no way that a man who has spent 50 of his 58 years in England, who was only ever a British citizen, should have his job and benefits compromised to the point that he became so desperate and for no other reason than the government’s deliberate attempt to treat some of its own citizens as having less rights than others.”

She added that he was a quiet man but hugely intelligent and witty. She said: “He would smile wryly while positing his own circumstances within the context of a racist system intent on making some people feel less worthy than others.”

Bristol was born a British subject in Grenada and, at the age of eight, moved to the UK in 1968 to join his mother who was working as an NHS nurse, and spent the rest of his life in Britain. In 2017, he lost his job because he had no passport and was unable to prove he was in the country legally. He was also unable to claim benefits despite having no income.

During the funeral, a saxophonist played Many Rivers to Cross and Amazing Grace and four hymns were sung by the congregation in tribute to Bristol, who was passionate about music. In the eulogies, his family described a quiet but funny man who loved martial arts and the cinema.



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