My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Shaun Woodward) has made the following Ministerial Statement.
I am pleased to announce today the appointment of eight new commissioners, including deputy chief commissioner, to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.
The appointments follow an open process based on merit. The terms of appointment of the eight outgoing commissioners, Anne O'Reilly (deputy chief commissioner), Annie Campbell, Brian Carlin, Eileen Evason, Tom Haverty, Michael Rae, Audrey Simpson and Derick Wilson end on 31 July 2008. They will be replaced by Jane Morrice (deputy chief commissioner); Stella Burnside; Kit Chivers; Patricia Feeney; Charo Lanao-Madden; David Stevens; Norman Trotter; and Murray Watt, who will take up post on 1 August 2008, joining eight existing commissioners.
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is a key institution of the Belfast agreement and plays a vital role in protecting and promoting equality for all members of our diverse society in Northern Ireland. I am grateful for the commitment and expertise that the departing commissioners have brought to the commission.
I am confident that the new appointees will continue their good work and ensure that the commission continues to carry out its important duties effectively.