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Flagship UK commission resigns, new blow to PM May

Staff Writer |
British Prime Minister Theresa May was dealt a major blow Sunday when the entire board of a flagship social mobility commission resigned.

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Former Labour Party government minister Alan Milburn announced he was quitting his role as chairman of the commission, saying there was zero prospect of May's government tackling social mobility.

His decision was followed by the three other commissioners, one of them the vice chair, a former Conservative minister, also saying they were resigning.

In his resignation letter, Milburn told May that government ministers were preoccupied with Brexit.

Last week the commission published a major report warning that that London and its commuter belt appeared to be a different country to the rest of the country.

In one of its reports, the commission said the aspiration gap between Britain's rich and poor will take 80 years to close.

Saying he was quitting with immediate effect, Milburn said he had little hope of the current government making progress necessary to bring about a fairer Britain.

He said in his letter to May the government is understandably focused on Brexit and does not seem to have the necessary bandwidth to ensure that the rhetoric of healing social division is matched with the reality.

"I do not doubt your personal belief in social justice, but I see little evidence of that being translated into meaningful action," he told May.

Milburn described social mobility as one of the biggest challenges facing Britain today, saying "It is not just the poorest in society who are losing out. Whole communities and parts of Britain are being left behind."

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