Theresa May, UK Prime Minister, has appointed Tracey Crouch as the country’s minister for loneliness as part of the legacy of the murdered Labour MP Jo Cox.
Crouch is the current junior minister for sport and civil society and will fill the newly-created role as the government ramps up effort to tackle a problem that is believed to affect nine million people in the UK. .
The appointment is one of the recommendations made by a commission set up in honour of Jo Cox, a Labour MP.
Cox, who campaigned about loneliness, was murdered by a right-wing extremist in 2016.
The government said it would develop a strategy on the issue, gather more evidence and statistics, and provide funding for community groups to start activities which connect people.
The prime minister is expected to formally announce the appointment on Wednesday and say she has accepted many of the recommendations made by the commission.
“For far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life,” May said.
“I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones – people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with.”