Equality Bill [HL]

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 9th November 2005.

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Photo of Baroness Ashton of Upholland Baroness Ashton of Upholland Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Constitutional Affairs) 3:15 pm, 9th November 2005

My Lords, the noble Lord is absolutely correct.

I would like to say three things. First, I give you the guarantee that the commission will be promoting and working with and for children. Secondly, I will suggest to my honourable friend Meg Munn, who has responsibility for this policy and who I know will be delighted, that she meet with the noble Baronesses, Lady Walmsley and Lady Howe of Idlicote, to have one more go at looking at what might be done. As noble Lords will know, I take this issue very seriously. Thirdly, in the work that we do in establishing the commission, I will commit to come back to the House and ensure that we are very clear about how the commission is going to work with children.

Nothing divides us on this issue. I am fully committed to ensuring that the commission works closely with and for children. I simply cannot accept this amendment for the technical reasons I have given. I do, however, commit the commission and give the guarantee unreservedly.