UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced the appointment of a Minister for Loneliness, paying tribute to a project which was first started by the late British lawmaker Jo Cox.
According to Downing Street, Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey Crouch will now also deal with a whole array of issues related to loneliness, which is thought to affect at least nine million people in Britain.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May, for her part, said that by appointing Crouch for this job, she wants to contain the problem of loneliness.
"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," May pointed out.
Twitter users have, meanwhile, remained at loggerheads over the news; many were quick to offer sarcastic remarks.
When poverty is a major cause of loneliness, should @tracey_crouch be appointed Minister to tackle it, when she voted— Oliver (@tynewrc) 17 января 2018 г.
Against a decent pay rise for public sector workers such as nurses,
12 times for the Bedroom tax,
and 45 times to cut welfare benefits?@vincemaple #Chatham
#MinisterForLoneliness Seriously? Taxpayers are paying a ministerial salary (£100,000-odd) for someone to be in charge of this? Whatever next… Minister for Feeling Slightly Awkward at Parties? Minister for Bad Hair Days? Minister for Sleepiness at Work?— Angus Donald (@angus_donald) 17 января 2018 г.
Theresa May’s appointing a Minister for Loneliness after systematically shutting down libraries, community and social centres where lonely people used to go to feel less lonely probably makes perfect sense if you’re a Tory trying to pretend you’ve got a heart— jodiekins (@jodiekins22) 17 января 2018 г.
"Minister for Loneliness" So what of us that enjoy solitude? Absolutely barmy idea from a Government that is totally lost. 😬— Here's Ray Scott (@Lenin2Lennon) 17 января 2018 г.
Others, however, sincerely welcomed Crouch's new appointment, saying that more efforts are now needed to grapple with loneliness-related problems.
Good to see the government appointing a Minister for Loneliness — action must now be taken to combat loneliness, which is often a cause of mental ill health and can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day: pic.twitter.com/b88G9FE9Cm— Mental Health Fdn (@mentalhealth) 17 января 2018 г.
Hearing about a minister for loneliness being appointed in honour of MP Jo Cox, Im reminded of how I have come to understand that loneliness can sometimes have nothing to do with the amount of people around you.— COAisathing🔆 (@COAisathing) 17 января 2018 г.
Brilliant news that @tracey_crouch has been appointed Minister for Loneliness. Today we’ll celebrate this huge step forward & tomorrow the hard work begins. We look forward to working together to tackle loneliness in all its forms together pic.twitter.com/B2nAiZJoEx— Jo Cox Foundation (@JoCoxFoundation) 17 января 2018 г.
The new Minister For Loneliness is an admirable idea and I hope the PM recognises that one of the greatest factors in social isolation is poverty…and there's rather a lot the Government could do about that…— jack monroe |🍴📚 (@BootstrapCook) 17 января 2018 г.
It was British MP Jo Cox who was the first to set up the Commission on Loneliness in the country before being killed by a right-wing extremist in 2016.