Black information Link:

home campaigns act now policy & research press releases links subscribe contact us

black information link The 1990 Trust, human rights for race equality
The 1990 Trust's independent community website for black communities

2007 Bicentenary of Abolition
America at war
Armed Forces
Black Elders
Black Workers
Blink Interview
Civil Liberties
Crime & Policing
Human Rights
News Digest
Northern Ireland
Rural racism
Society & Environment
Stephen Lawrence
The 1990 Trust
UK regions

CRE could survive single equalities merger

Exclusive by Lester Holloway

THE COMMISSION for Racial Equality could be left alone while other equalities subjects are merged into a single body, Blink can reveal. Ministers have been forced to change plans after the CRE and Black communities gave a thumbs-down to the plans

Pdf The 1990 Trust response to the Fairness for All White Paper
Other Responses:

Pdf Churches Commission for Racial Justice
Commission for Racial Equality
Pdf Equal Opportunities Commission
Pdf Justice
Pdf Liberty
Pdf Mayor of London
Pdf The Runnymede Trust
Pdf Women's National Commission

Growing opposition to the proposed Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) from race organisations and the CRE has forced ministers to reassess their plans.

A well-placed source has revealed that Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt is considering leaving the CRE in place while disability, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion and human rights are merged into the CEHR.

The developments emerged as public consultation on the DTI’s Fairness for All White Paper ended on Monday. The original deadline for responses was extended from the 6 August after complaints that the government had not given interested parties enough time.

Trevor Phillips spelt out his 'red lines' a month before White Paper was published
Trevor Phillips spelt out his 'red lines' a month before White Paper was published

Last month the CRE voted to reject the White Paper, with CRE chair Trevor Phillips describing it as “the wrong proposal at the wrong time.” Critics of the government’s plans saw the move as killing off the single equalities body.

But DTI ministers are determined to set up the CEHR and are actively looking at merging the existing Disability Rights Commission (DRC) and the gender-specific Equal Opportunities Commission (EoC), who are both in favour of the plans, with the four new strands.

A Britain-wide consultation of Black and Minority Ethnic communities on the merger plans by The 1990 Trust found over 90% of respondents “did not believe that race issues would be better served by the CEHR”.


A series of seminars in partnership with regional race bodies in Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, London, Leicester, Cardiff and Glasgow were attended by 370 organisations has led to 70 written responses.

Karen Chouhan, chief executive of The 1990 Trust, called on the government to begin a new dialogue with Black communities. She said: “Our extensive consultations have demonstrated that Black people up and down the country are overwhelmingly opposed to the single equalities body.

“The government cannot now include race in the new body against the wishes of Black communities and the CRE. Ministers must now go back to the drawing board and start a new consultation with Black communities to work out a way forward.”

A CRE document outlining their response to the White Paper acknowledges that “in general, black and ethnic minority groups were almost unanimous in their opposition to the proposal – to the point that we cannot identify a single ethnic minority leader speaking in favour of the proposal.”

The paper added: “Local race equality bodies, particularly RECs, were generally opposed to the CEHR as they linked the moves to a dilution of the race equality agenda.”

Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt's vision is threatened by grassroots opposition
Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt's vision is threatened by grassroots opposition

Stakeholders consulted by the CRE feared that the CRE’s programme of work on integration would be lost, and that the White Paper seems to give priority to business needs rather than meeting community needs.

There was also significant concern over a possible dilution of the CRE’s enforcement work, with a switch to soft-focus promotion, and actually discourages enforcement which is seen by government as an absolute last resort.

The CRE paper concludes: “The concern is that without the confidence and backing of the communities in serves the CEHR will not be able to deliver on the race equality agenda” and that a body opposed by the community would be “destined to fail.”

Blink has learnt that Phillips made clear what his three ‘red lines’ were to trade minister Jacqui Smith three weeks before the publication of the White Paper, but all of his demands appear to have been ignored.

Article continues >>

Send to a friend
Send to a friend
print document
Print document

Contact Government
Civil Service
Single Equalities Commission
Citizenship & Integration

Related Stories

CRE turkeys vote for early Christmas Trevor's Rotten Empire UK needs a race-specific body Is this the man who destroyed the CRE? Trevor Phillips appointment as CEHR chairman condemned Trevor Phillips “to join the BNP soon” says mayor Ken Why we're rooting for Shami Batting both ways Fat cat Trevor won't fight for us Rights groups attack Blair's favourite for equality chair Phillips used me, says school experiment boy Equalities body will be a “discriminators charter” Trevor, do you qualify? CEHR chair “must have a record of fighting discrimination” PRESS RELEASE – Black communities reject Trevor Phillips for top equalities job Trevor Phillips would be “final nail in CEHR coffin” The 1990 Trust Response to The Equalities Review Interim Report Six days to influence review into government race policies Anti-racist organisations campaign for 'race committee' and Black representation on the CEHR Local race councils in revolt over merger United we stand Black groups abandon equalities super-body Trevor lobbies MPs for race committee Why we oppose the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights The moment of betrayal Let battle commence Vaz the way to do it Regions unite to demand race recognition in equalities body Sir Bill Morris blasts “one size fits all” agenda Lammy supports race committee for equalities super-body British Democracy failing Black Britain Charles Kennedy considering support for race committee MPs support for race committee grows Last chance to get race on single equalities agenda Jasper unleashed his wrath Lib Dems hold key but which way will they turn? Pump up the volume CEHR “a step backwards” says Diane Abbott Knowing is not believing Lobby MPs over absence of race in single equalities body proposals Upside down politics over single equality body Government shrug off concerns over all-white equality body A funny kind of equality Some more equal than others Time to sound alarm for equality Give us a piece of the pie Equalities merger body radically improved One Big Equality Mush Single equalities body still a dogs dinner Single equalities fudge fails to sweeten sceptics Single equalities body a 'dead duck' as disabilities group say no to merger Black community rejects single equalities merger CRE could survive single equalities merger CRE vote to kill off single equalities plans Trevor Phillips under pressure to oppose single equalities body Another former minister hits out at single equalities body Disappointment over White Paper on the single equalities body – no new powers or cash Government to impose single equalites body even if consultation opposes it Livingstone says single equalities body would be an ‘inaccessible monolith’ ‘Whitewash’ for single equalities body The Eagle has panned it – ex-race relations minister attacks single equalities body Single equalities body may not happen, says CRE chief Enforcement of equality law ‘off the agenda’ in single equalities Stitch-up claims over new single equalities body Squad to design new equalities commission lacks black grassroots credibility War of the equalities Big-guns blast single equalities body Opposition to single equalities body grows


Teeth and their use

Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society: One year On

The Zahid Mubarek Inquiry

pdf Dept. for Communities & Local Government Citizenship Survey

Responses to the Equalities Review Interim Report

The 1990 Trust Response to The Equalities Review Interim Report

Equalities Review Interim Report Briefing – Addressing Race Equality

pdf Our Rights, Our Future

pdf Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society: The Government's race strategy

CRE response to DTI Statement on Commission for Equality and Human Rights

Equality and Diversity Forum welcomes the progress on a Commission for Equality and Human Rights

Summary of Changes to the CEHR

The 1990 Trust’s response to the CEHR White Paper

pdf Delivering equality and human rights for black and minority ethnic communities

Flush the academic racism in Blunkett’s office down the pan

Jacqui Smith answers questions on the Single Equalities Body

How to Contact your MP


Race and Faith and Communities

Election Memory

Catalyst Magazine

UNITE TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS: sign the statement against the erosion of civil liberties and human rights by new anti-terrorism proposals A Black Manifesto No 2 ID FREE FAROUQ PDP ASSOCIATES Power to the People

Published by The 1990 Trust

This website is subject to a disclaimer: Please read

Black Information Link. All rights reserved.

Suite 12 Winchester House 
9 Cranmer Road
London SW9 6EJ
Tel: 020  7582 1990
Fax: 020 7793 8269

top of pagetop of page

powered by Linux