Call for inquiry as caste discrimination law is delayed until after election

 

Legislation to ban caste discrimination in Britain will not be implemented until after the next election, it was announced on Monday, amid claims that Conservatives have deliberately delayed their own law.

Discrimination on the basis of caste was outlawed in April as part of the Equality Act, after Business Secretary Vince Cable secured a last-minute amendment. The Government Equalities Office now says it will not be introduced until summer 2015.

Earlier this month, The Independent revealed that equalities minister Helen Grant, who is in charge of introducing the law, was still so opposed to it that she wrote to its critics encouraging them to send in evidence so it could be removed from the statute book.

David Cameron has now been asked to investigate a possible breach of the ministerial code by the Conservative minister in her handling of the legislation. Liberal Democrat peer Lord Avebury has written to the PM pointing out that the code says ministers should maintain “a united front when decisions have been reached”.

A government spokesman said:  “It is entirely wrong to suggest that ministers have acted inappropriately in regard to the issue of caste discrimination.”

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