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New Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner finally appointed


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The Home Secretary has today announced the appointment of Eleanor Lyons as Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, after leaving the role vacant for 18 months. Ms Lyons is currently the Deputy Children’s Commissioner and will start her new role on 11 December 2023. In making the announcement, the Home Secretary stated:

I congratulate Eleanor Lyons on her appointment and look forward to working with her to tackle modern slavery. She will provide tremendous insight and expertise as she takes up this role.

From November 2019 to July 2020 Ms Lyons was Director for Portland Communication Consultancy, known for their work for the Qatari government. Prior to that, she was a special adviser to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

The previous commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, had raised concerns about the role being left vacant for so long, as well as there being a potential conflict of interest arising with the Home Office being in charge of the appointment. This is an important role and it no longer being vacant is surely a positive, particularly in light of the government’s determination to erode the rights of survivors with precarious status in this country.

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Sonia Lenegan

Sonia Lenegan is an experienced immigration, asylum and public law solicitor. She has been practising for over ten years and was previously legal director at the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association and legal and policy director at Rainbow Migration. Sonia is the Editor of Free Movement.