Government policy on trans rights and gender identity is being shaped by Stonewall, a former senior adviser to Number 10 has revealed.
Nikki da Costa, who was the Prime Minister’s Director of Legislative Affairs, said that the LGBT lobby group retains privileged access to Boris Johnson despite a number of Government departments cutting ties.
Stonewall has been mired in controversy for months over its promotion of hard line gender ideology and its pervasive influence on public bodies and other institutions.
Da Costa told The Times: “There is no other organisation — no business, or charity, no matter how big — that can pick up the phone to a special adviser sitting outside Boris Johnson’s office and get that person to speak directly to the Prime Minister.
“But that is the kind of access that Stonewall has.” As a result, she added, the Prime Minister “is not receiving the range of opinions on the debate around gender identity that he should”.
Staff who sought to present “an alternative view”, Da Costa said, risked being labelled “difficult” or “transphobic”.
The former aide also claimed the consultation period on Government proposals to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’ was cut from the standard twelve weeks to just six weeks “to get a good news story” ahead of its global pro-LGBT conference in June 2022.
“There’s no reason why the Government can’t take a few more weeks, even a couple months to get this right,” she said.
every major institution with an ounce of credibility is disaffiliating from Stonewall
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Government is now facing calls to abandon its plans to run the June event along with Stonewall next year.
Speaking to the newspaper, one Whitehall source described the Government’s alliance with the lobby group as “a ludicrous contradiction” when “every major institution with an ounce of credibility is disaffiliating from Stonewall”.
Last month, BBC journalists Stephen Nolan and David Thompson reported on the widespread influence of Stonewall on national governments and institutions in an investigative podcast.
In the light of the programme’s findings, Nolan asked: “How worrying is it, that there is an unaccountable lobby group, partly funded by you, the public, which has unparalleled access to your Government, to your employer, to your police force, to your BBC?”