A government body set up by Theresa May to help fight ethnic, gender, and sexuality injustices appears to no longer be in operation, the Government has suggested.
May announced the creation of the Office for Tackling Injustices in her final days as Prime Minister, pledging that the unit would “shine a spotlight on key injustices and provide the catalyst for better policy solutions”.
The body was set to use data and analysis to look at disparities in areas including socio-economic background, ethnicity, gender, disability and sexual orientation and explore if specific groups of people are unfairly discriminated against or held back.
The Observer reported earlier this year the unit had no budget and a remit for the body had yet to be agreed, leading to fears the body would never actually exist.
In a further sign of its demise, the government last week refused to reveal what steps had been taken to establish the Office for Tackling Injustices or what its priorities are.
“We are considering how best to take forward the work of the Office for Tackling Injustices in the light of the Government’s domestic priorities,” said Cabinet Office Minister Lord True in a written answer.
Baroness Lister, the peer who asked the question, told ICYMI News: “I find it extraordinary that nearly a year on nothing has been done to establish the Office other than in name.
“While it might be argued that the current crisis has taken precedence over all other government business (a) I would have expected the Office to have been functioning before the pandemic hit us and (b) had it been in operation it would have been the ideal government unit to investigate the differential impact of CV19 on BAME and other marginalised groups.
“And yes, the current Black Lives Matter protests underline just how important such a unit could be were it functioning and adequately resourced.”
Speaking when the office was launched, May claimed such a body was needed as “deep-seated societal injustice requires a long-term focus and cannot be eliminated overnight.”
May has been contacted for a comment.