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Where next for the EHRC?
Tuesday 28 July 2009
Mencap concerned by resignations of commissioners
Concerns have been raised over the future of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the government's equality watchdog, after the resignations of several commissioners.
So far, six board members have quit the EHRC, including Sir Bert Massie (pictured), the former chair of the Disability Rights Commission, and disability campaigner Baroness Campbell. Some of those who resigned in the last few weeks have called for the resignation of its chair, Sir Trevor Phillips, who was reappointed on 15 July.
The new commission began work in October 2007, having taken on the work of the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission.
This month, the National Audit Office announced that it had not fully signed off the EHRC's accounts, as it had re-employed senior staff from the former Commission for Racial Equality soon after they received redundancy payments, without permission from the Treasury.
Lord Rix, Mencap's president, commented on the debate yesterday on the BBC Radio Four programme 'World at One', giving his personal opinion on the situation.
And Mark Goldring, chief executive of Mencap, said: "Whilst we were supportive of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission when it was established in 2007 there has been growing concern amongst the disability community that disability has slipped down the agenda in light of the Commission's wider remit.
"We are concerned to see the loss of so many well thought of disability commissioners. The EHRC must have strong leadership if it is to achieve its goal of creating a fairer Britain."
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