Former deputy speaker joins Equality Commission

A former deputy speaker in the Assembly has been appointed to the Equality Commission.

Jane Morris will be the new deputy chief commissioner, Northern Secretary Shaun Woodward said.

Ms Morris, a former member of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition and broadcaster, will work with chief commissioner Bob Collins to tackle discrimination. A total of eight new commissioners were named.

Mr Woodward said: “Under the excellent leadership of chief commissioner Bob Collins, the eight new commissioners bring a wealth of knowledge, skill and understanding and will make a real contribution to the protection and promotion of equality for all sectors of our diverse society in Northern Ireland.

“I am confident that they will continue to enhance the commission’s central role in protecting and promoting equality in Northern Ireland.”

The other members are former health and social services chief executive Stella Burnside; chief inspector of criminal justice Kit Chivers; teacher Patricia Feeney; good relations officer Charo Lanao Madden and David Stevens from the Corrymeela group.

Businessman Norman Trotter and community worker Murray Watt complete the panel.

The part-time deputy commissioner was appointed for three years and will be paid a £10,000 (€12,664) allowance. The others will receive £5,000 (€6,332).

Ms Morris, who headed the European Commission’s office in Belfast in 1992, said: “I am delighted to be appointed and I welcome the challenge and look forward to working with Bob Collins and the other commissioners.”

Mr Collins said the new members would maintain the confidence and enthusiasm of those leaving.

“The new commissioners who have been appointed will bring their own unique experience and expertise to the important task of promoting equality of opportunity and combating all forms of unlawful discrimination,” he said.

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