Several high-profile public bodies are leaving Stonewall’s ‘Diversity Champions’ programme, following the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s recent departure. Concerns about the scheme centre around Stonewall’s aggressive promotion of trans ideology.
The House of Commons, the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency and the employment dispute service ACAS are among a “flood” of public bodies which have ended their membership.
Public bodies pay upwards of £2,500 plus VAT to subscribe to the lobby group’s programme, which rewards employers for promoting LGBT ideology inside and outside of the workplace.
Last month, the Equality and Human Rights Commission revealed that it had ended its membership of Stonewall’s scheme in March. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government ditched the programme in 2019.
The Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss, has now called on all Government departments to withdraw from the scheme.
According to calculations made by The Sunday Telegraph last year, fees paid to Stonewall by public bodies cost the taxpayer at least £600,000 a year.
Stonewall’s Chief Executive Nancy Kelley recently likened defending the reality of biological sex to anti-Semitism.
But Stonewall co-founder turned critic Simon Fanshawe slammed the group for “pushing a divisive dogma” and insisting “without discussion that those born male can become women simply by saying so, and therefore enter exclusively female spaces and use women-only services”.
He dismissed the group’s claim to support freedom, highlighting that it refuses to back “the freedom to disagree”.
But Kelley claimed she was “really comfortable” with the group’s direction and insisted comparing gender critical views to anti-Semitism “is apt”.
Jeffrey Ingold, Head of Media at Stonewall, responded to recent developments by labelling the UK a “fascist, transphobic island”.
News of the latest public bodies to exit the pro-LGBT scheme comes in the wake of a series of incidents where Stonewall’s influence and advice has been exposed and questioned.
Last month, barrister Akua Reindorf warned the University of Essex, after its links to the group resulted in it misrepresenting the law on transgender issues.
A former Old Bailey judge also raised serious concerns over the privileged position afforded to Stonewall by the Law Commission in its consultation on hate crime law.
And last year a freedom of information request revealed that the Scottish Civil Service had been pushing a range of controversial Stonewall policies on transgender and non-binary issues.