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Deidre Brock SNP MP for Edinburgh North and Leith has called for an unflinching look at institutional racism at Westminster after today’s announcement of an inquiry into the Windrush scandal.

Ms Brock said:- “The appalling disregard for Windrush citizens is not an aberration or deviation from the norm – it fits right into the pattern of institutional racism at the heart of our political establishment, and this is what we need to tackle head on.

“Successive UK Governments have created an atmosphere of xenophobic mistrust and fear, and they are proud of it – the Prime Minister even praises the “hostile environment” she helped create. They thought that they had tapped into a source of votes by painting immigrants as some kind of threat to an imaginary British way of life.

“Racism runs deep in the political psyche here. A bias is embedded in the minds of many politicians that will not easily be dislodged. It has been allowed to drive debate on many issues, not least our relationship with the EU. Three million people who—like the Windrush generation — live, work, study, pay taxes and contribute to society here are treated as pawns in a political game, their lives thrown into question.

“Scotland needs immigrants – not just for population growth but the energy and impetus that comes with them. Instead of welcoming and encouraging people, our country is being damaged by the right-wing xenophobia of deportation, document checks and fear-mongering.

“This announced inquiry on Windrush has to be more than a look at who-knew-what-when. It should be a root and branch review of immigration policy and an unflinching analysis of the continuing racism of the body politic here. That is our shame and our disgrace, and we should not be content to hand it on to future generations.”