British Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed Tracey Crouch as the country's first-ever Minister for Loneliness. Crouch is currently minister for sport and civil society in the UK government.
A minister to tackle loneliness? This is something that is unheard of. But, Britain now has its first-ever minister to tackle the issue of loneliness and combating social isolation, a problem that plagues 9 million Britons. As per Indian Express report, British Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed Tracey Crouch as the country’s first-ever Minister for Loneliness. Crouch, who is currently minister for sport and civil society in the UK 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.
“Jo Cox recognised the scale of loneliness across the country and dedicated herself to doing all she could to help those affected,” May said in a statement. Cox, the Labour MP for Batley and Spen who was stabbed to death outside her parliamentary office in West Yorkshire, had campaigned to combat the problem.
Meanwhile, the ministerial role will take forward the recommendations of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness. The post holder will work with the Commission, businesses and charities to create a government-wide strategy. The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, chaired by Rachel Reeves MP and Seema Kennedy MP has been working with 13 charities, including Age UK and Action for Children to develop ideas for change.
Theresa May said that she wants to confront the challenge that problem of loneliness possesses. “For far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life. I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones – people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with,” May said.
Crouch, who has served as the MP for Chatham and Aylesford since 2010, said that she would prepare guidelines to deal with the issue and is determined to make significant progress in defeating loneliness. She said that simple acts of companionship could make a huge difference. “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 UK who suffer from loneliness.” An estimated half the people aged 75 and over live alone in Britain, with many saying they can go days, even weeks, with no social interaction at all, said the IE report.