Anthony Bryan: ‘My Windrush drama received a BAFTA however I nonetheless haven’t acquired compensation’

2021-06-08 02:09:40

The person behind a BAFTA-winning drama concerning the Windrush scandal has but to obtain compensation from the House Workplace, The Impartial can reveal.

Anthony Bryan, whose story impressed BBC drama Sitting in Limbo, mentioned profitable Finest Single Drama was “bittersweet” given his ongoing battle with the federal government.

Simply hours earlier than the award ceremony on Sunday, a consultant from the House Workplace contacted Mr Bryan to supply him a bundle he described as “insulting.”

The 62-year-old was equally contacted about compensation by authorities officers days earlier than the TV drama, written by his screenwriter and novelist brother Stephen S Thompson, aired in June 2020.

“I really feel nice for my brother, actually, and the win has lifted me up a bit too be trustworthy,” Mr Bryan mentioned. “I didn’t count on it to resonate with so many individuals … I used to be stunned that it had such a big effect however am very glad that it did.

“However it was all very bittersweet and it hasn’t actually sunk in; I used to be up till about 2am in disbelief over the truth that my story has received a BAFTA however but issues haven’t moved on for me.”

He added: “It might be good if I had been capable of transfer on with my life.”

Mr Bryan, from north London, was unlawfully detained by authorities twice and instructed he could be deported again to Jamaica, which he left in 1965 when he was eight.

The previous decorator mentioned he feared being denied re-entry to the UK if he visited his mom in Jamaica, having realized her well being was poor across the identical time he felt the influence of the Authorities’s “hostile surroundings” in direction of immigrants 2015.

Mr Bryan was abruptly dismissed from his job the identical yr and compelled to depend on members of the family for monetary help.

He lastly acquired a biometric residence allow from the House Workplace in Could 2018.

“I keep in mind breaking down crying whereas detained – on one event I’d simply buried my son – and other people round simply ignoring me,” Mr Bryan recalled.

“Once I consider what I’ve been via, I get away in chilly sweats.

“I nonetheless get wired and, to today, I can’t deal with listening to the banging of doorways as a result of it makes me very nervous and takes me again to that darkish time in my life.”

The Windrush survivor has declined the House Workplace’s compensation supply which quantities to round £90,000.

Anthony Bryan flanked by fellow Windrush survivors, MPs Daybreak Butler and David Lammy.


Final summer time, Mr Bryan accepted an interim cost of £30,000 which was supplied simply earlier than Sitting in Limbo was broadcast final yr.

From this most up-to-date supply, the federal government would deduct from that quantity leaving him with £60,000.

“It was a really insulting supply; that’s what the House Workplace thinks that I’m value after all the pieces I’ve gone via,” he mentioned.

What’s extra, Mr Bryan mentioned the Authorities has not factored in his Submit Traumatic Stress Dysfunction (PTSD) analysis which got here because of his immigration ordeal.

Mr Bryan is experiencing further well being challenges together with a latest analysis of Power Obstructive Pulmonary Illness (COPD) which suggests he hasn’t been capable of work since final February and is usually unable to even enterprise exterior on his personal.

“I’m supposed to have the ability to transfer on by now however this course of retains dragging on and on,” he mentioned.

“If I didn’t have the help of my missus and my son, I’d’ve been deported to Jamaica as a result of I didn’t have the energy to battle this alone.”

Mr Bryan’s case was one among many highlighted when it emerged members of the Windrush technology had been being deported, detained, denied healthcare, work and housing regardless of having a authorized proper to be within the UK.

Having arrived as youngsters, many assumed their citizenship was secured mechanically and have struggled to show their proper to residence underneath robust circumstances within the so-called hostile surroundings created underneath Theresa Could when she was residence secretary.

Windrush campaigner Patrick Vernon instructed The Impartial: “The latest Nationwide Audit Workplace report now makes the case that the compensation scheme must take away from the House Workplace.

“The scheme was not designed within the spirit and essence of restorative justice of righting the wring’ because the case staff and administration methods should not certified and designed to deal in complicated nature of the influence of on the monetary, emotional, and cultural influence due to the hostile surroundings.

“With the success of Sitting in Limbo, I hope extra folks will signal my petition which requires the federal government to implement and undertake Wendy William’s Classes Realized Overview on the Windrush Scandal.”

“21 useless and nothing mentioned,” he added, referring to the variety of folks affected by the scandal who’ve died earlier than receiving compensation.

It comes as Priti Patel insisted the Windrush compensation scheme has “essentially modified” within the final six months.

She instructed the Home of Commons on Monday that, since an overhaul in December, the House Workplace has paid out six occasions greater than the earlier whole.

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