Downing Street has denied Liz Truss is downgrading the importance of women’s rights after no “minister for women” was named in her Cabinet team.
Ms Truss had previously held the title Minister for Women and Equalities alongside her role as Foreign Secretary in Boris Johnson’s government.
However in her first Cabinet list, the Cabinet Office minister Nadhim Zahawi – who is taking on the brief – was simply named as Minister for Equalities.
Wonder if the erasing of Women from the job title is intentional or just an oversight …… https://t.co/4enV6VvzzM
— Caroline Nokes MP (@carolinenokes) September 6, 2022
The move was queried by some women MPs.
Tory Caroline Nokes, who previously chaired the Commons Women and Equalities Committee, tweeted: “Wonder if the erasing of Women from the job title is intentional or just an oversight ……”
Labour MP Kate Osborne, who now chairs the committee, said: “Women’s rights must be at the forefront of the work we do. We can’t allow the govt to erase women from the equalities agenda.”
However the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said that while the title held by Mr Zahawi had “changed slightly”, his brief had altered.
I'm chairing todays @Commonswomequ possibly the last with this name as the PM has appointed a Minister for Equalities, dropping women from the portfolio.
Women's rights must be at the forefront of the work we do.
We can't allow the govt to erase women from the equalities agenda pic.twitter.com/haifS6NmZq
— Kate Osborne MP (@KateOsborneMP) September 7, 2022
“The equalities brief has not changed. The policies which relate to him still apply,” the spokesman said.
“He is the Minister for Equalities which will include the policies as before which applied. The title has changed slightly.
“I believe that the people of the United Kingdom will be focused on the actions that the Government takes to protect women, including introducing a national domestic abuse register.
“I think that actions the Government is taking in this space is how it should be judged rather than on job titles of individuals.”