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Minister for loneliness appointed in UK
World | society | 10:02, 18 January 2018 | 400

AKIPRESS.COM - A minister for loneliness of UK, a project first started by the late MP Jo Cox, has been announced by Downing Street, BBC reported.

Tracey Crouch said she was proud to take on the "generational challenge" to tackle an issue affecting about nine million UK people, young and old.

The 42-year-old said she would work across political parties in the role.

The Commission on Loneliness was first set up by Ms Cox, who was killed before the EU referendum.

A 2017 report said loneliness was as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

In a statement, Prime Minister Theresa May said: "Jo Cox recognised the scale of loneliness across the country and dedicated herself to doing all she could to help those affected."

She said the new ministerial role would continue Ms Cox's legacy, with the post holder working with the commission, businesses and charities to create a government strategy.

Ms Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford since 2010, told BBC Breakfast a multi-million pound fund would help her pull together existing work being carried out on loneliness to create a framework for the future.

Asked whether part of the problem lay with local authority cuts leading to library and day centre closures, she said these were all challenges and would be looked at, and stressed there was no single solution.

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