Repeal Equality Act, says Rees-Mogg

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Former government minister Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg has said that the Equality Act must be scrapped if the battle against “wokery” is to be won.

Speaking on his GBNews programme, Sir Jacob said that workers must be free to “get on with their jobs, not spend all their time and energy in moralistic progressivism”. 

He welcomed the appointment last month of Esther McVey as the government’s new ‘minister for common sense’ but suggested she may be frustrated in her aims by the Equality Act.

The Equality Act was brought in in 2010 to protect people against discrimination based on a number of characteristics: age, gender reassignment, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or on maternity leave, disability, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. 

Critics say that some characteristics are being favoured over others and that the Act has been weaponised by the Left. 

Sir Jacob said it had “put wokery into legislative form”.

McVey has said that one of her aims is to cut back “wasteful” public spending on diversity consultants.

“I am looking carefully at the government’s expenditure on external ‘equality, diversity and inclusion’ consultants,” she wrote in the Daily Mail.

“To me the common sense solution is one set of guidance for the whole civil service to follow.

“Let’s practise diversity and inclusion, not waste taxpayers’ money preaching it.”

Sir Jacob said that the Equality Act could make things difficult for McVey.

“So, the minister for common sense was brought in to make sure that employees can spend their time doing the jobs for which they’re paid, not worrying about who’s tender sensitivities they may offend nor complying with ever-emerging Newspeak nor filling a gender or race diversity quota,” he said. 

“And this is the great aim for Esther. I wish her success, I want her to succeed: it is fundamentally important, it will lead to a better, more efficient state. But there is a difficulty and the difficulty is the Equality Act which creates the public sector equality duty, which has put wokery into legislative form.

“Before she can really win her battle, this bill will need to be repealed and that way taxpayer value can be restored.”

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