Govt reiterates opposition to public sector ‘Equality Oath’

Forcing all local councillors to say an ‘Equality Oath’ is “not the British way of achieving things”, the Government has said as it repeated its opposition to the idea.

In 2016 former Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said he was “drawn” to an oath which pledged support for “equality, democracy and the democratic process”, but it was later shelved.

Government Minister Lord Bourne said a lot of people around the country rejected the proposal, as he appeared in front of MPs on Monday.


He was responding to Dame Louise Casey who had originally proposed the idea. This week she criticised the Government for not acting fast enough on her integration proposals.

Chairing the Communities and Local Government Committee, Clive Betts MP questioned Lord Bourne over the Government’s response.

He said while ministers supported some of Dame Louise’s suggestions, they believed a public sector oath was “not the appropriate way forward”.

Lord Bourne said Whitehall considered “that this was probably not the British way of achieving things”.


The Christian Institute had persistently challenged the concept of an Equality Oath, warning people with traditional views could feel excluded.

The Institute said: “Equality sounds nice but it is in the name of equality that Ashers Baking Company has been taken to court, B&B owners sued and a faithful Christian registrar forced out of her job.”

When it was dropped in March this year, the Institute’s Simon Calvert said, “the vast majority of people will be relieved to see the Government has ditched the idea”.

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