Equality Bill [HL]

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 9th November 2005.

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Photo of Baroness Scotland of Asthal Baroness Scotland of Asthal Minister of State (Criminal Justice and Offender Management), Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Criminal Justice and Offender Management) 6:15 pm, 9th November 2005

My Lords, I am grateful for the noble Lord's agreement that race and religion are difficult to disentangle. That is a contrary argument to the one that was made for the better part of this afternoon—that the two were easy to separate. That being the case, the view that has been taken is that there would have to be a different monitor for this as opposed to the other role and that the measure would be too bureaucratic and too difficult to deliver. I can assure the noble Lord that this matter was energetically pursued to see whether it would be possible to do what the noble Lord would like; especially bearing in mind that the noble Lord thought it would be simple and easy to achieve. For the reasons that I have given, the view was clearly taken that it would not be simple: it would be extremely bureaucratic and difficult and that when one looked at the consequences, it was not appropriate. That is the decision that the Government took. I can assure the noble Lord that the issue was fully explored.