Lords backs plans for new Equality Commission for Northern Ireland


In the House of Lords last night peers gave their backing to plans to set up an Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

The new body would combine the current roles of the Fair Employment Commission, the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Commission for Racial Equality, and the Disability Council.

Junior Northern Minister Lord Dubs, introducing a series of government amendments to the Northern Ireland Bill, told the Lords the commission would be a "powerful, independent organisation, which will exercise a broad range of executive responsibilities for equality in Northern Ireland".

The committee stage amendments were approved without a vote later.

The Bill, which has already cleared the Commons, devolves powers from central government to the New Northern Ireland Assembly elected earlier this year.