Trevor Phillips tipped for equality role

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The current chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality is about to be appointed to run the new ‘super-commission’ for human rights.

The Guardian reports that Trevor Phillips will be appointed head of the new Commission for Equality Human Rights.

He is a controversial choice, given his very close relationship with New Labour.

He was recently castigated by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, for being too right-wing.

Mr Phillips is often criticised for not doing enough at the CRE to assist minorities and of being attention-seeking.

The government controversially pressed ahead with plans to combine the CRE with other public bodies such as the Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission.

The new Commission for Equality and Human Rights was created by parliament this year and will come into operation in October 2007. Its remit will cover LGBT rights, the first time that gay and lesbian people have had that specific protection.

The Commission will advise employers and service providers on good practice and the promotion of equality, conduct inquiries and carry out investigations, provide advice and information on rights and equality laws.

They will also have a campaigning role on issues affecting the diverse groups in society that can suffer discrimination and make arrangements for conciliation to assist with disputes.

The commission will additionally provide assistance to individuals who believe they have been the victim of unlawful discrimination.

The introduction of the Human Rights Act was the catalyst for drawing together the existing bodies for ethnic minorities, the disabled and women. contacted the Department for Communities and Local Government, but they declined to make a statement. They also were unable to tell when a decision about who will be appointed to head the new Commission will be announced.

However, a Labour parliamentarian has told that the appointment of Mr Phillips has already been approved.