A pro-Stonewall organisation has been appointed to ‘cultivate an LGBT-friendly environment’ at the BBC.
The corporation’s Director General Tim Davie has promised BBC Pride that its ‘inclusivity training’ will now be delivered by INvolve UK, an organisation set up by Suki Sandhu, a champion of Stonewall’s radical gender ideology.
Earlier this month, the broadcaster announced its withdrawal from Stonewall’s discredited ‘Diversity Champions’ programme following questions over impartiality.
Just another Stonewall
INvolve UK claims to offer businesses “a wide range of LGBT+ inclusion solutions” exploring “inclusive language” and “focusing on what trans-inclusive workplaces and behaviours look like”.
In his LinkedIn profile, CEO Suki Sandhu says he is “proud to be a Stonewall Ambassador”, a role described by Stonewall as “a group of our closest supporters, giving £1,800 a year or more”.
Campaigner Maya Forstater, co-founder of the organisation Sex Matters, warned: “The BBC should beware of signing up to another unaccountable scheme, which might turn out to be Stonewall in all but name.”
And Kate Harris of LGB Alliance said: “Involve UK takes a similarly controversial approach to LGBT issues as Stonewall.” She added: “For the sake of the BBC, its reputation and its audience, it must be open about the exact nature of the relationship and how it will safeguard its editorial independence.”
A statement from the BBC Press Office on 10 November said: “Along with many other UK employers, the BBC has participated in Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme to support our objective to create a fully inclusive workplace.
“However, over time our participation in the Programme has led some to question whether the BBC can be impartial when reporting on public policy debates where Stonewall is taking an active role.
“After careful consideration, we believe it is time to step back from the Diversity Champions Programme and will also no longer participate in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index.”
It also claimed that participating in the scheme “has never required the BBC to support the campaigns of Stonewall, nor its policy positions”, adding that its journalists “continue, as ever, to report a full range of perspectives on stories”.