Theresa May announces new 'Office for Tackling Injustices' as part of her legacy plan
New body will use data to push for greater equality on race, class, gender, disability and sexual orientation
Theresa May has announced plans for a new government body to tackle “deep-seated societal injustices” as she tries to salvage a legacy before leaving office later this month.
The prime minister said she was setting up an Office for Tackling Injustices (OfTI) that will work independently to encourage future governments to focus on addressing inequalities.
She said the new body would use data-driven analysis to hold ministers to account. It will adopt a similar approach to the Race Disparity Audit, which uses data on different ethnicities' experiences to shine a light on racial inequalities in the UK.
As well as race, the OfTI will also focus on class, gender, disability and sexual orientation. However, its role will be limited to collecting and publishing data, and it will not make any policy recommendations.
No10 said the OfTI would likely look at issues including gender and disability inequalities in the workplace and in housing, such as the gender pay gap.
Ms May: “Deep-seated societal injustice requires a long-term focus and cannot be eliminated overnight.
“Since becoming prime minister, I have challenged the injustices which still exist in our society through the power of data – from our world-leading gender pay gap reporting to the Race Disparity Unit – and I have demanded that if disparities cannot be explained, they must be changed."
She added: “I am proud of what we have achieved to make the UK a more just society. But there is more to be done now and in the years to come, if we are truly to say that this is a country which works for everyone – no matter who they are or where they’re from.
“That’s why the Office for Tackling Injustices will go further, using the power of data, gathered from extensive sources, to shine a spotlight on key injustices and provide the catalyst for better policy solutions. By holding government and wider society to account, we can create lasting change.”
Penny Mordaunt, the minister for women and equalities, said: “We know that high quality data and evidence are important tools in tackling inequality. We need to know how well we are tackling injustice and the impact on people’s lives.
“The Office of Tackling Injustices will provide that accountability in the new Cabinet Office equalities hub at the heart of government. Sitting alongside the world-leading Race Disparity Unit, the Government Equalities Office and the Office for Disability, it will be an important part of work to drive change throughout Whitehall and improve lives across the country.”
The announcement came as one ministerial supporter of Boris Johnson, the favourite to be the next prime minister, told The Independent that Ms May was "in denial" about leaving office.
The cabinet minister said: “At the first cabinet meeting after she announced her resignation she didn't even refer to it.
“She just keeps going with business as usual, talking about what needs to happen in October, when she won’t even be here in October. We just keep having meetings and no-one is quite sure why.”