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Labour announce Social Justice Commission

Corbyn and Rayner say next Labour administration would focus on social justice rather than social mobility

LABOUR in government will set up a commission to “put social justice at the heart of everything,” Jeremy Corbyn and Angela Rayner announced today.

Speaking in Birmingham, the party’s leader and shadow education secretary said that the next Labour administration would focus on social justice rather than social mobility.

Branding the latter concept a “failure,” Mr Corbyn and Ms Rayner argued that social mobility has given credibility to ideas about “escaping” disadvantage, rather than improving society.

Labour’s new policy is to establish a social justice commission in place of the current Social Mobility Commission.

A social justice commission would be granted statutory rights and genuine independence, so that it could scrutinise government work effectively.

Mr Corbyn said: "Social mobility has failed, even on its own terms.

“The idea that only a few talented or lucky people deserve to escape the disadvantage they were born in to, leaving in place a social hierarchy in which millions are consigned to the scrapheap, results in the talents of millions of children being squandered.

“We need to give everybody the chance to flourish.”

Ms Rayner said: “Focusing only on a lucky few leaves inequality entrenched and those from disadvantaged backgrounds with few opportunities to get on.

“The Tories like to talk about people like me who had a difficult start but got on in life as evidence that anyone can succeed on their own.

“But actually, my life shows the exact opposite. Any success I have had is thanks to Labour governments that provided the council house, minimum wage, tax credits and Sure Start children’s centre that enabled me to achieve it.

“That is social justice. Not one person doing better than the people they grew up with, but all of us working together to give everyone the chance to reach their full potential.

“The very opposite of what the Tories believe or do.

“We will focus on social justice, not just social mobility, to build a society in which everyone can develop their talents and succeed, regardless of their background.

National Education Union joint general secretary Mary Bousted welcomed the announcement and applauded the party for addressing the “growing problem” of inequality.

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