THE TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has found that a total of 327 public bodies have been paying into Stonewall’s Diversity Champions scheme, conferences, events and training programmes. Between 2018-19 and 2020-21, Stonewall received over £3million of taxpayers’ money.
Freedom of Information requests found that more than two thirds of universities were signed up with Stonewall, alongside 58 health bodies and most Whitehall departments.
Since 2018-19, organisations have been paying for guidance on issues such as gender-neutral spaces, pronouns, and transgender inclusion. Examples included a ‘Queering Children’s Literature’ event (costing £396) at Goldsmiths University of London, ‘Unconscious Bias Train the Trainer’ workshop (costing £1,620) at the South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust and ‘Being A Better Ally to LGBT People of Colour’ webinar (costing £48) at the Bank of England. At least 20 organisations, including the House of Commons and National Assembly for Wales, signed up to Stonewall’s ‘Trans Allies’ programme or trans training/inclusion workshops.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance is calling 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.
The TPA’s 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.
‘Public sector bodies often say they have no more fat to trim but with the spending review on the horizon, it’s clear that savings can be made by ending payments like these.’
You can read the TaxPayers’ Alliance paper here.