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Phillips promises race champions in his equalities watchdog

Trevor-Phillips-BTEGTrevor Phillips today made good on his promise to relinquish some of his power – a pledge made in the aftermath of a spate of resignations from the equalities watchdog

Exclusive by Lester Holloway

In a departure from the previous set-up Phillips announced that the Equalities and Human Rights Commission is to get a senior official and commissioner dedicated to race equality.

The explicit recognition of race as a ‘strand’ within the equalities institution for the first time complete with its’ own champions, sets the tone for a different kind of commission to the one that has operated since 2007.

Speaking at an east London seminar looking at the impact of the recession on Black communities, Phillips delivered on a promise he made to The Times in August this year to devolve power and allow the different figureheads for specific equalities subject areas more profile.

Phillips told the Black Training and Enterprise Group conference this afternoon that he had appointed Alan Christie, who is currently the EHRC lead officer for the private sector, to “focus on race for the commission.” Christie previously worked with Phillips at the now-abolished Commission for Racial Equality.

Phillips also promised that “a new commissioner, when appointed, will also be dealing with race.” It is expected that the other strands – disabilities, gender, sexual orientation, age, and religion – will also get their own designated officials and commissioners.

Phillips said that the CEHR was “trying our best to listen hard” to concerns of the various equalities interests. But he stressed he was still keen to see the organisation continue with a common approach to equality, commenting that “discrimination doesn’t come in neat boxes”, and issues often overlapped.

Six commissioners resigned this summer after the government reappointed Phillips to serve another three year term. Some former commissioners, like Dr Kay Hampton, questioned the chairman’s style of leadership.

Today’s move appears to pave the way for a more harmonious relationship with other senior figures for the remainder of his time at the helm.

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2 Responses

  1. Let us hope Mr Philips has overcome his error thinking that Black men cannot lead and he does the work that God in HIs mercy has given him a second chance at.

  2. Poacher turned game keeper finally sees the light….but it is too late

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