Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his appointment and pay handsome tribute to his predecessor.
The Windrush scandal really should not have taken us by surprise: it is the natural consequence of a system that has as its default position an assumption that a person is here illegally, with the onus being on the applicant to prove that they are here legally. That is the problem. A person has to prove that they are who they say they are and have a right to be here. Too often in offices, as a result of policy—let us not shift the blame—the default position is that the computer says no. Will my right hon. Friend undertake to have a radical rehaul of all these policies so that we shift the onus back on to the state to prove that a person does not have a right to be here?
I thank my right hon. Friend for her remarks. I can make this commitment to her. We need to make sure that when dealing with inquiries from the public, the immigration system behaves more humanely and in a more fair sense, and that it takes more into account what I would call the obvious facts, rather than just asking for a piece of paper to prove everything. I will look into the matter very carefully.