The UK’s media regulator has announced its withdrawal from Stonewall’s controversial ‘diversity scheme’.
Ofcom will still take part in the LGBT lobby group’s Workplace Equality Index, but has decided to distance itself from its ‘Diversity Champions’ programme.
Its departure is the latest of a string of public bodies to have left Stonewall’s flagship scheme, which rewards employers for promoting LGBT ideology inside and outside of the workplace.
In a statement, Ofcom said: “in recent months there has been significant scrutiny of some of Stonewall’s policy positions.
“In Ofcom’s case, we have considered whether our relationship with Stonewall poses a conflict or risk of perceived bias.”
It added: “As the communications regulator, an important part of our responsibility is to ensure we remain impartial and independent at all times.”
According to information obtained by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Stonewall has received more than £3 million of taxpayers’ money since 2018, of which over £2.5 million went on membership of the group’s ‘Diversity Champions’ scheme.
Stonewall co-founder Lord Michael Cashman lashed out at the communications watchdog, calling its announcement “utterly shameful and twisted”.
He accused the organisation of caving in to “pressure from shrill sirens opposed to equality”.
But Josephine Bartosch, writing in The Daily Telegraph, responded: “The ‘shrill sirens’ to which he refers are the growing group of feminists who believe that biological sex matters.”
The journalist said Stonewall only had itself to blame as its “recent actions bear all the hallmarks of what might be termed ‘social media-poisoning’” and that it had “become a corpulent bully fat on tax-payers’ money”.
Despite Ofcom’s concerns over impartiality, the BBC told The Times that it will continue to participate in Stonewall’s ‘Diversity Champions’ programme and seek its advice on LGBT inclusion in the workplace.
High-profile public bodies that have already left the scheme include the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency and the employment dispute service ACAS.
The Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss, has called on all Government departments to withdraw from the ‘diversity’ programme.