The Department of Education has spent almost £600,000 of taxpayers’ money on Stonewall schemes in the past four years, it has been revealed.
Responding to a written question from Tim Loughton MP, Universities Minister Michelle Donelan confirmed the DfE had spent £599,503 on training and resources from the controversial LGBT lobby group between the financial years 2017-18 and 2020-21.
It comes as a further 14 Government departments spent a combined £301,623 on Stonewall memberships and training over a five year period.
The majority – more than £570,000 – was spent on behalf of the Government Equalities Office.
Of the remainder, more than £21,000 was spent on Stonewall initiatives such as ‘allies training’, which aims to persuade those who are not LGBT to support and celebrate those who are.
a money-making operation where it acts as the judge and jury over what makes for good practice
This involves holding colleagues to account “on what they are doing to advance gay equality at work”, and making “clear public statements about the importance of gay equality to you and your organisation”.
Loughton said that Stonewall “seems to have set itself up as a money-making operation where it acts as the judge and jury over what makes for good practice”.
The Northern Ireland Office (NIO), which has paid Stonewall £6,000 since last year, received advice from the lobby group telling it to remove ‘gendered language’ from its maternity and paternity policies.
Freedom of Information requests revealed its feedback said that “while they were broadly OK in terms of LGBT inclusion”, the NIO could do better “in terms of language use and inclusivity regarding sexual orientation and gender identity”.
Conor Burns, an NIO Minister, claimed that membership of the organisation’s controversial ‘Diversity Champions’ programme gives the department “access to training, resources and advice on good practice on inclusivity”.
The scheme has come under fire for promoting radical gender ideology, with critics raising concerns that Stonewall is using its influence with public bodies and other institutions to disseminate misleading advice in shaping key policies.