Friday, November 30, 2012

Anti-Caste Discrimination meeting November 29, 2012

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At the packed two-hour meeting of the Anti-Caste Discrimination NGOa in Committee Room 4A on Wednesday November 28, 2012. The participants approved a demand that the Government implement S 9(5)(a) of the Equality Act, to make caste a protected characteristic and thus make caste discrimination in employment, education and the provision of goods and services unlawful. This demand has now been sent to the Rt Hon Maria Miller MP, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport (and to the junior Minister in the Lords). Baroness Thornton attended the meeting and said she would draw the attention of the Shadow Minister in Equalities, Yvette Cooper MP, to the demand, and she was confident it would be endorsed by the Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party.

On this matter I have acted in my individual capacity and not as spokesman of the Liberal Democrats, though of course the Party supported me when I moved the amendment on the Equality Bill which became S 9(5)(a). It should therefore be a formality to get the Party to endorse the demand, but it bwill be necessary to go through the motions because it wasn't part of the coalition's agreed programme.

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