A campaign for a dedicated minister for older people received a boost today after national newspaper the Daily Express joined the movement and started its own complementary "crusade."

Older people are often penalised when it comes to policy making by not having a champion within Government. This must change.
— George McNamara, Independent Age

The “Grey Pride” campaign was started in 2011 by Anchor, aiming to persuade the Government to create a Minister for Older People who would attend cabinet. Since its launch, it has obtained 137,000 signatures on a petition and received the backing of celebrities including Esther Rantzen, Richard Wilson and Angela Rippon. An Early Day Motion in support of a cabinet level ministerial role for older people received the backing of 84 MPs.

In response to the Grey Pride campaign, the national Labour party created a Shadow Minister for Older People to attend the shadow cabinet. However, the portfolio was later broadened to include social care, and then subsequently lost the reference to “older people” after being combined with the Shadow Minister for Mental Health. There is currently no shadow minister for older people that attends shadow cabinet.

Similarly, the Welsh Conservatives appointed Darren Millar AM as Shadow Minister for Older People in 2013, although again the portfolio grew to include health and social care. By 2016, the shadow role had evolved into an “older people’s Champion”, with Suzy Davies AM holding the role alongside being Shadow Minister for Social Services.

There is a real need for a strong voice for older people in government, but at the moment there is no one minister, unit or strategy focused on this substantial and growing section of our population.
— Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK