Response to comment piece in The Times

by Rebecca Hilsenrath

Published: 29 Mar 2017

Following a comment piece in The Times on Monday 27 March, Equality and Human Rights Commission Chief Executive Rebecca Hilsenrath responded with a letter, which is published in full below.

Sir

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is not timid or lacking in bite as claimed by Jawad Iqbal (Equalities quango is a disaster and should be scrapped, 27 March).

I am puzzled by these unsubstantiated claims. Our recent successes include publishing a major report on race equality (followed swiftly by the government’s race audit); tackling the discrimination of pregnant women and new mothers at work (which increased reporting rates); and winning important legal cases for disabled people on the bedroom tax and access to buses.

We have spoken loudly against the divisive political rhetoric during and after the EU referendum that damaged our trust in political debate and will hold government to account to ensure equality and human rights are central to post-EU Britain.

Like all publicly funded bodies we faced budget cuts, which we strongly resisted. It is wrong for anyone to suggest we have targeted minority groups of staff. Our process has been fair and decisions taken based on skills and experience, not background. As part of our changes we are strengthening the route for ethnic minority staff and disabled people into senior roles.

Our role is more important than ever and the changes we are making will ensure we possess the skills required to deliver our important work.

Rebecca Hilsenrath
Chief Executive
Equality and Human Rights Commission

 

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