Windrush Britons to receive British citizenship – but is it too late for May’s reputation?

The local elections are now just over a week away.

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Crisis over? Amber Rudd has announced a package of measures designed to bring the Windrush scandal to a close.

Windrush Britons will receive British citizenship without the usual fees or citizenship tests, and there will be compensation for the people caught in the mess. In a bid to prevent the government being caught in a similar scandal involving subsequent generations of Commonwealth citizens, the new arrangement will apply to anyone who came to the United Kingdom from the Empire or Commonwealth until 1973.

But there is an awful lot of uncertainty around the detail. While, despite what the government and many of its boosters would like to claim, the Windrush scandal isn't one of Home Office incompetence; incompetence and indifference to the people who come within that department's orbit do exist. Rudd and Theresa May could easily find that the Windrush hostile environment scandal gives way to the Windrush derisory levels of compensation scandal.

The more immediate headache for the PM, with a little more than a week to go before local elections that are widely expected to be a bloodbath for the government, is it is another cause of Tory misery that can be laid firmly at her door.

Stephen Bush is political editor of the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.

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