LGBT lobby group Stonewall received over £3 million of taxpayers’ money in the past three years, it has been revealed.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance found that from 2018 to 2021, 327 different public bodies paid more than £2.5 million for membership to the group’s controversial ‘Diversity Champions’ scheme alone. The remainder came from conferences and training programmes.
It also revealed that NHS bodies had paid a total of almost half a million to the group.
The largest single contributor, Homes England, paid £45,942, including nearly £25,000 on the Trans Allies training programme.
Other major public bodies making large contributions included the Greater London Authority and the House of Commons.
Data was obtained from responses to Freedom of Information requests and used to track payments received by the activist group from public bodies between April 2018 and March 2021.
In its report, the TaxPayers’ Alliance called for “an end to the practice of taxpayer-funded lobbying, so public money is not used to distort political decision making by advancing policy positions taxpayers may seriously disagree with”.
After years of handing over millions, some officials seem determined to prop up pressure groups like Stonewall with taxpayers’ cash
In a statement, its political director, James Roberts, said “Taxpayers should not be subsidising campaigners who use those privileges to lecture and lobby.
“After years of handing over millions, some officials seem determined to prop up pressure groups like Stonewall with taxpayers’ cash, despite ministers urging against it.”
Earlier this year, a number of high-profile public bodies announced they had left Stonewall’s ‘Diversity Champions’ programme.
These 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 since called on all Government departments to withdraw from the scheme.