Minister for Women Liz Truss will not be attending Boris Johnson’s meeting on violence against women, Downing Street has confirmed.
Johnson last night announced he would be holding a meeting of the Crime and Justice Taskforce to discuss ways to make streets safer for women and girls following the alleged murder of Sarah Everard on March 3.
It is being reported that Met Commissioner Cressida Dick, home secretary Priti Patel, justice secretary Robert Buckland and director of public prosecutions Max Hill will all be attending.
No minister from the government’s Equalities Office will be present.
Downing Street has long been criticised for making the role a “part-time” post. Truss holds two other positions alongside this one, including as the secretary of state for international trade and as the president of the Board of Trade.
Her predecessor was Amber Rudd held the role while she was home secretary.
In fact, there has never been a cabinet-level minister for women and equalities who did not also have another job, since the role was created in 1997.
Asked if Truss had been too busy to attend, the prime minister’s official spokesperson said: “I’ve set out who is attending.
“As you’re aware, the prime minister will chair it. You’ve got the attendance list.”
And asked how the government could say it was taking women’s equality issues seriously when nobody from the Equalities Office would be attending, the spokesman said: “As you know this is an existing forum and it is a taskforce that has met previously.
“The home secretary is leading and the Home Office leads when it comes to policing matters.”