The Cabinet Office is among more high-profile Government departments to have left Stonewall’s controversial ‘Diversity Champions’ programme.
The Cabinet Office and the Government Equalities Office left last year, while the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced its departure in June. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is now reviewing its membership.
Public bodies pay upwards of £2,500 plus VAT to subscribe to the LGBT lobby group’s programme, which rewards employers for promoting LGBT ideology inside and outside of the workplace.
Maya Forstater, co-founder of the group Sex Matters, commented: “Stonewall has a clear political agenda to change the law based around gender identity, rather than sex, and they advance this through the Champions Scheme and Workplace Equality Index with government departments.
“This relationship was never appropriate and we hope that with the Cabinet Office leaving other government departments and public agencies will soon follow.”
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland explained that the MoJ is leaving the programme over Stonewall’s “dubious” transgender advice which threatens free speech.
Avon and Somerset Police recently defended spending around £8,000 of public money on Stonewall membership in 2020.
The police force spent thousands of pounds on a one-day training course, designed to inform people how to be a more “inclusive ally” to LGBT people inside and outside of their workplaces.
Avon and Somerset claimed that it is “committed to being inclusive” and reviews its Stonewall membership annually.
This departure is the latest in a string of public bodies to have left Stonewall’s ‘Diversity Champions’ programme recently. These include the House of Commons, the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency and the employment dispute service ACAS.
Last month, former NHS trust chief executive Kate Grimes said the health service had been “well and truly captured” by Stonewall and its work with the lobby group “risks the reputation of the NHS and the safety of our patients and staff”.
Over 90 NHS and healthcare organisations are currently part of the group’s ‘Diversity Champions’ scheme, including the Care Quality Commission and NHS England.