Skip to main content

Equalities Hub

Volume 663: debated on Thursday 11 July 2019

The new Equalities Hub includes the Government Equalities Office, the race disparity unit and the new disability unit. Not only does it bring together the parts of Government that lead on gender, race, disability and sexual orientation, but it will use the convening power of the Cabinet Office better to leverage work across Whitehall.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply and for putting together for the first time ever an Equalities Hub. How will she make sure that Government Departments still see it as their responsibility to work together to deliver better equalities policies in future? In our inquiries, the Women and Equalities Committee often highlights that as a real problem.

The hub will hold those Departments to account. It will have some new tools to do that: better data and the ability to look at the multiple disadvantages that individuals face. There are also single departmental plans and other methods that the Cabinet Office has. We will make further announcements this week that will provide other means by which we can hold everyone across Government to account.

I welcome the Equalities Hub, but I urge the Government to make hubs available throughout the country. Will the Minister pay particular attention to a group that lobbied me only last week? They were women who have been in prison, come out of prison, and had to return to the atmosphere of bullying and oppression in the home they were in before they served their prison sentence. These women need the full service in the Equalities Hub. They are a very special case, so will the Minister help them?

The hon. Gentleman raises a very good point. My hon. and learned Friend the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice recently visited some women’s prisons and spoke to people there about further things we need to do. Part of the work of the Government Equalities Office is to create better networks across the whole of the UK in all these policy areas.