Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

May appoints minister to tackle loneliness issues raised by Jo Cox

May appoints minister to tackle loneliness issues raised by Jo Cox

Tracey Crouch, now minister for sport and civil society in the United Kingdom government, will take on the additional role created in memory of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered by a right-wing fanatic in June, 2016.

Crouch, the sports and civil society minister, told the BBC that a multi-million dollar fund would help her create a framework for the future.

The Jo Cox Loneliness Commission, set up to tackle one of the issues the late MP cared most passionately about, recommended that the Government make a minister responsible for a national strategy to combat loneliness.

Theresa May, who is holding a dinner in memory of Jo Cox today, said: 'For far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life.

Theresa May praised the work of Cox on the issue and pledged a strong response.

"We should all do everything we can to see that, in Jo's memory, we bring an end to the acceptance of loneliness for good".

May's office said in a statement that work has begun to develop a government strategy on loneliness in England, and a fund that will enable the government to work with charities and others to tackle the problem.

The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, chaired by Labour's Rachel Reeves and Conservative Seema Kennedy, worked with 13 charities over the a year ago to help find solutions to the problem.

'This is an issue that Jo cared passionately about and we will honour her memory by tackling it, helping the millions of people across the United Kingdom who suffer from loneliness'.

MPs Ms Reeves and Ms Kennedy, co-chairs of the JO Cox Commission on Loneliness, said: "Throughout 2017 we have heard from new parents, children, disabled people, carers, refugees and older people about their experience of loneliness".

"She would be delighted by Tracey Crouch's new job as minister for loneliness and would be saying 'let's get to work!'" the Foundation added.

More than nine million people say they are always or often lonely, out of a population of 65.6 million, according to the British Red Cross. Under this role, Crouch will lead a cross-government group that will take responsibility for driving action on loneliness across all parts of government and keeping it on the agenda.

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