Public Affairs: Soap Box - Mario Ambrosi, head of comms & public affairs, Anchor

Liz Kendall's appointment as shadow minister for care and older people was the 'most significant' of the Labour reshuffle, according to The Telegraph online.

It rightly said the role provides an opportunity to transform old age care funding. But what's really significant is that she's not directly shadowing anyone.

Ed Miliband's appointment of a shadow minister for older people, attending the shadow cabinet, marks a high point in Anchor's remarkable Grey Pride campaign to persuade politicians to pay more attention to our ageing society.

The issues are complicated: care, housing, planning, fuel poverty, pension reform, transport and discrimination. Only by looking at them in the round can we support older people and benefit fully from their valuable contribution.

It's easy for messages to get tied up in this complexity. But our campaign is so popular because its message is simple.

Our petition, now almost 100,000-strong, is calling for the Government to appoint a dedicated minister for older people. It's backed by an Early Day Motion signed by 65 MPs from all the major parties. And Labour's appointment of a shadow minister highlights the void in the coalition Cabinet.

Just as Theresa May is both Home Secretary and Minister for Women, our ageing society now requires somebody to take responsibility for joining up policies affecting older people. But there is no one minister whose job title indicates it is also their role to consider in a holistic way the needs of one of the largest and fastest-growing groups in the country.

Anchor's Grey Pride campaign has given voice to tens of thousands of people, many of whom felt ignored by politicians for too long.

We have a shadow. Now the spotlight is on the coalition. And it must act in the interest of today's older people and the older people of tomorrow.

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