Sixty-year-old Zephaniah, one of the highest-regarded poets in Britain today, said the Prime Minister must act “immediately” to compensate those affected, but questioned whether even this would be enough.
It comes after her government has come under intense pressure over their handling of the Windrush scandal that has highlighted the plight of members of a generation of immigrants who arrived as British citizens in the mid-twentieth century.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr show, when asked what what his message would be for Ms May, Zephaniah said: “We need justice, we need equality, and you need to fix up and put it right – now.”
The poet, whose family was part of the Windrush generation, said not only the Caribbean community but the black community more widely were “united” on the issue, adding: “We are all angry.”
Asked whether the government’s response had been adequate, he said: “The government promised compensation after Grenfell Tower, it hasn’t been forthcoming. It’s good words but something needs to be done immediately.”
Referring to the death of a man who spent the last year of his life trying to prove his immigration status, Zephaniah added: “I’d like to see heads roll, but how do you compensate somebody like the mother of Dexter Bristol?”