On Wednesday 7 July 2004, the Equality and Diversity Forum and the new all-party Associate Parliamentary Group (APG) on Equalities jointly hosted a reception in the Attlee Suite of the Houses of Parliament. The event was very well attended by members of parliament, peers, Forum members, observers and correspondents, and by representatives of many organisations concerned with equality issues.
Vera Baird QC MP and Chair of the APG welcomed guests to the first major public event of the Group. The APG will play a similar role within Parliament to the Equality and Diversity Forum, in highlighting concerns about equality across the different strands, without duplicating the valuable work of existing parliamentary groups in individual areas of discrimination.
The Forum and the APG were delighted to welcome Jacqui Smith, Deputy Minister for Women and Equality. The Government had just published a White Paper on the proposed Commission for Equality and Human Rights. Jacqui gave a short address in which she welcomed the creation of the new Parliamentary Group and thanked Equality and Diversity Forum members for their involvement in the CEHR Task Force and their contribution to progress on the new Commission.