Baroness Thornton joins the NSS as an honorary associate

Posted: Thu, 11 Aug 2016

Baroness Thornton joins the NSS as an honorary associate

The National Secular Society is delighted to welcome Baroness Thornton as a new honorary associate.

Glenys Thornton served as Labour's equality spokesperson from 2011 to 2015 and now focuses her work in the House of Lords on issues related to education, equality and human rights.

She has played a significant role in the campaign to outlaw caste-based discrimination. She was responsible, while Labour was in office, for enabling legislation and commissioning a report which confirmed that caste-based discrimination was a problem in the UK.

She recently spoke in a debate in the House of Lords on the matter. She told peers that parliament owed an apology to the Dalit community in the UK.

"I feel that we owe an apology. I think that the Government do, and I would like to apologise to the Dalit community in the UK for having lived with inaction on this issue for so long. We gave the power in 2010 to put forward caste discrimination as a protected characteristic. It is shocking that we have not done so."

She commended campaigners against caste discrimination for their persistence and said that the Conservative Government's failure to act "shows a contempt for Parliament that is really unacceptable".

NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood said:

"We are delighted that Baroness Thornton is joining our outstanding group of peers in the House of Lords, campaigning for secularism and protecting human rights. Baroness Thornton has spoken powerfully about the need to outlaw caste-based discrimination, something which the National Secular Society has campaigned on since 2009."

Tags: Caste, Honorary Associates