I have recently been contacted regarding the reduction in the budget of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
As the EHRC is a non-departmental body, it independently determines the funding it requires and how this should be allocated. I understand this is set out in the organisation’s one-year Business Plan and three-year Strategic Plan, and includes any staffing or organisational changes the Commission is due to make. The requirements set out by the EHRC are also routinely scrutinised by the Government, as was the case in 2013.
As a former barrister, I fully appreciate the exceptionally important work undertaken by the EHRC, and I can assure you that the EHRC will continue to have sufficient funds to enable it to do its job effectively. Ministers have been very clear that this will remain the case, and so I do not believe that the organisation’s central mission will suffer. I am told the commission will also be supported by the work of the Equality Advisory and Support Service, which is also funded by the Government.
Rest assured that I will continue to support the EHRC’s mandate to protect and promote equality and human rights.