UK: Former equalities chiefs: we were not reappointed because we were "too loud and vocal" on racism


A report in Newsweek publishes claims by two former members of the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) that they were not reappointed to their roles, despite being recommended to do so, because they were too vocal on issues of racism.

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Exclusive: Ex-Equalities Commissioners Say Calling Out Racism Cost Their Jobs (Newsweek, link):

"Two former commissioners at the U.K.'s Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the country's equalities watchdog, say they were not reappointed to their roles because they were "too loud and vocal" about issues of race, Newsweek can reveal.

Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece, who at the time was the only Muslim commissioner and Lord Simon Woolley who was the only black commissioner, both lost their positions in November 2012.


The EHRC says its simple goal is to make Britain fairer, with its set of enforcement powers to challenge discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and protect human rights. It has been awarded an "A" status as a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) by the United Nations.

At present, it has no black or Muslim members among its board of ten commissioners, which also includes the chair.

It currently stands accused of not standing up for British Muslims and being too close to the ruling Conservative Party, both claims the EHRC firmly denies.

[Lord Simon Wooley said:] 'They [the government] didn't want the voices that challenge the big structural inequalities, which of course is the raison d'être of the commission, and then to work out plans to use its powers to demand change.'"

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