Equally Ours letters: on the appointment of David Goodhart as an EHRC commissioner

Equally Ours has coordinated two separate letters to Elizabeth Truss MP, the Minister for Women and Equalities, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), raising concerns about the appointment of David Goodhart as an EHRC commissioner. 

The appointment has serious consequences for race equality in the UK, and also has implications for wider equality and human rights. 

We reached out to our members who are race equality organisations, as well as our full network, for their input on both letters.

Letter to Elizabeth Truss MP

EHRC Commissioners are appointed by the Minister for Women and Equalities. At a time when thousands of ethnic minority people and community groups are working flat out to protect the country from Covid-19, and many have lost their lives doing so, the appointment of David Goodhart undermines trust in the Government’s willingness to tackle racial inequality. We call on the Minister to adopt a comprehensive race equality strategy that includes actions to rebuild trust and demonstrate that the Government is taking seriously, its commitments to tackling racial discrimination and inequality.

Letter to EHRC 

The EHRC is responsible for ensuring that Commissioners act in accordance with the Commission’s statutory duties on equality and human rights. We call on them to redouble their efforts to engage with race equality organisations and to make clear how they will ensure all Commissioners are held to their duties to ‘act at all times within the values of the Commission, with impartiality and integrity, and to uphold and promote the work of the Commission even when it conflicts with their personal views’.  

Response from EHRC

EHRC has responded to our letter, setting out how they ensure all Commissioners are aware of their role, duties and obligations and their ongoing commitment to advance race equality and work effectively with the sector. This includes entering into a legal agreement to ensure action against the recommendations of their recent formal assessment of hostile environment policies, which found that the Home Office had failed to comply with equality law.

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