Skip to content

Lady Campbell Resigns From EHRC

July 18, 2009

Baroness Jane CampbellJane Susan Campbell, Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, at her home in Surbiton, Surrey. Photograph: Martin Godwin

The embattled Equalities and Human Rights Commission suffered a further shock today with the resignation of a high-profile commissioner, Lady Campbell, the fourth senior figure to quit the organisation this year.

The baroness, a hugely respected disability rights campaigner who hit the headlines this month for her impassioned opposition in the Lords to a bill to legalise assisted dying, is believed to have quit in response to the reappointment on Wednesday of Trevor Phillips as EHRC chair.

Phillips has presided over internal tensions at the commission in recent months and been forced to fight off criticism over the future direction of the equalities body. Until this week, there was speculation he would not be given a second three-year term.

Critics have been scathing of Phillips’ management style, his alleged closeness to government, and his perceived shifting of the tone and style of the commission’s approach – from a campaigning strategy for tackling inequality and discrimination to one of “fairness”.

Campbell, a wheelchair user, was a former commissioner of the Disability Rights Commission before it was merged into the EHRC in 2007. She was made an independent crossbench peer in 2006, having been chair of the social care body Social Care Institute for Excellence.

Her resignation follows the departure of a former chief executive, Nicola Brewer, a fellow commissioner, Kay Hampton, and the director of strategy, Patrick Diamond, all in March.

The EHRC commissioner, Bert Massie, said in March that there had been concerns among some commissioners over its performance.

Maria Eagle, the minister responsible for EHRC in the government equalities office, said: “I have great deal of respect for Jane Campbell and the work she has done for the commission. She’s a great person; losing someone of Jane’s calibre is a loss for the commission.”

No comments yet

What are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: