WindrushBritish prime minster Theresa May has been accused of “arrogance” after announcing plans to create a memorial to the Windrush generation, as campaigners urged her to rip up the government’s hostile environment policies.

Up to £1m in funding has been earmarked by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for the permanent monument at London’s Waterloo station.

Karen Doyle, national organiser of Windrush pressure group Movement for Justice, told The Independent: “Memorialising the arrival and contribution of the Windrush generation is important and welcome.

“However a gesture in bronze and steel feels empty and meaningless from a government that championed the hostile environment bringing destitution, detention, deportation, exile and death to this important generation.
“It is particularly galling when there are still so many who live in fear of detention and deportation, the descendants and family members who are currently excluded from help by this government.”

Ms Doyle added: “Ripping up the hostile environment polices would be a fitting monument. Most monuments memorialise issues and people that are long dead – the injustice faced by this generation and their families is still very much alive.”

Arthur Torrington, chair of the Windrush Foundation, told The Guardian: “You can’t just bully a community and say, ‘Here is a monument’. This is the same arrogance that led to the Windrush scandal. In a sense they’re looking for another one by treating the Caribbean community like children.”

The memorial was announced on Saturday, as the country observed the first Windrush Day to mark 71 years since the arrival of the first “pioneers”.

Situated at the country’s busiest railway station, the prime minister said the monument would be seen by “millions of people from all around the world” every year.

 Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, also criticized the hostile environment policy.

He said: “The disgraceful way the Windrush generation and their families have been treated by the government is a national scandal.

“Their experiences clearly demonstrate that the immigration process is difficult to navigate and the increasing severity of the hostile environment is putting Londoners with the right to be here at risk of destitution.”