Equality and Diversity Forum

Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 5th September 2013.

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Photo of Charlie Elphicke Charlie Elphicke Conservative, Dover 9:30 am, 5th September 2013

How much funding the Government provided for the Equality and Diversity Forum in 2012-13; and for what reasons this money was allocated.

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

The Equality and Diversity Forum is an independent network of equality and human rights organisations. The Government did not fund any of its activities in 2012-13.

Photo of Charlie Elphicke Charlie Elphicke Conservative, Dover

Is the Minister aware that some of the forum’s political activities could breach the Charity Commission’s rules on campaigning and political activity?

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

I thank my hon. Friend for making that point. It would be absolutely unacceptable for any charity to behave in a way that breached its regulatory requirements. The Government would not accept any behaviour of that sort or condone such activity. If he remains concerned, I advise him to take the issue up with the forum, the Charity Commission or both.

Photo of Yvonne Fovargue Yvonne Fovargue Shadow Minister (Transport)

The Government have cut by almost 70% the budget of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which funds the work of the EDF. What assessment have the Government made of the impact of those cuts on the EDF’s work and the work of the other bodies it supports?

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

Yes, there have been changes, but the EDF is still capable of doing all the activities it needs to do. The forum is a valuable component that does valuable work. I have, on occasion, been lucky enough to be invited to attend meetings and to speak at them.