Passport joy for Windrush child Lorenzo 50-years after arriving in Leeds

A WINDRUSH child who came to Leeds in the 1960s has spoken of his joy after being told he will soon be given a UK passport more than 50 years after arriving in this country.

Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 4:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 5:07 pm

Lorenzo Hoyte was unable to attend his mother or brother’s funerals abroad because he was not classed as a British citizen and had repeatedly had passport applications refused.

Mr Hoyte, who was born in Barbados and came to the UK aged 10, was also unable to travel to the Moscow Olympics in 1980 or the Los Angeles Games in 1984 to see his sister Josyln Hoyte-Smith compete for Great Britain in the women’s 4x400m relay.

Now he has been contacted by the Home Office’s passport office and told he should receive his passport by the end of this month.

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Lorenzo Hoyte

Grandfather-of-six Mr Hoyte, 62, who was brought up in Leeds and now lives in Wrenthorpe, Wakefield, said he is desperate to visit his sister, another brother and ailing 89-year-old father Belfield in Canada before it is too late.

He said: “I rang my dad immediately and told him I’m nearly on my way.

“When I get the passport it will be like shedding chains.

I will no longer be in exile and I will no longer be in lockdown. I will be able to visit family and friends and go on holiday.

“I will go and see my dad in Toronto and then from there I want to go West Indies and say my goodbyes to my grandparents. 

“The first couple of trips are going to be an emotional rollercoaster for me.”

He added: “I won’t feel like a citizen of this country until I have got a passport. When I get the passport I will have the biggest smile on my face. “

A Home Office spokeswoman, said: “We have worked to resolve Mr Hoyte’s case as quickly as possible. His passport application is progressing, and we will continue to support him throughout this process.”

In May this year, Home Secretary Sajid Javid outlined a series of measures to process citizenship applications for people affected by the Windrush scandal.

The measures included free citizenship applications for children who joined their parents in the UK when they were under 18.

Before she resigned, former Home Secretary Amber Rudd apologised for the “appalling” treatment of the Windrush generation and said compensation would be given.