Minister will be told to withdraw their departments from Stonewall’s controversial £5,000-a-year diversity programme
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Now all of Whitehall is told to ditch Stonewall amid row over charity’s divisive diversity scheme

  • Number of departments signed up to controversial £5,000-a-year programme 
  • It gives advice on how to create inclusive environment for LGBT staff members
  • Stonewall then ranks organisations on how well they treat their LGBT workers
  • But some departments withdrew over fears charity advises rewrite of policies 
  • House of Lords pulled out of the scheme, following the BBC and Cabinet Office 

Minister will be told to withdraw their departments from Stonewall’s diversity scheme, it has emerged.

A number of departments have signed up to the controversial £5,000-a-year programme to receive advice on how to create an inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans staff.

The charity then ranks organisations on how well they are deemed to treat their LGBT workers. 

But some departments have withdrawn from the ‘diversity champions programme’ over fears that the charity advises members to rewrite their policies to reflect its agenda on trans rights.

Minister will be told to withdraw their departments from Stonewall’s controversial £5,000-a-year diversity programme

Minister will be told to withdraw their departments from Stonewall’s controversial £5,000-a-year diversity programme

This month it emerged the House of Lords has pulled out of the scheme, following the BBC and the Cabinet Office.

Guidance from the Cabinet Office, published yesterday, states that ministries should no longer engage with ‘external assurance and benchmarking organisations’- unless an exception is granted by the permanent secretary.

Instead they should bring such schemes in-house. 

A government source said that would mean departments will be expected to pull out of the Stonewall scheme.

‘The strategy recognises the civil service is out of touch with the British public it works for,’ the source said. 

‘This is the first serious attempt by the Government to get Whitehall to change course by cutting out the wokery, ending the reliance of dodgy diversity schemes and getting more jobs outside of the London metropolitan bubble.’

Last year Liz Truss, in her position as equalities minister, told officials she believed departments should leave the scheme because it was not value for money. 

But since she became Foreign Secretary she has not implemented the change in her department.

The new instruction came in a document called the civil service diversity and inclusion strategy, 2022 to 2025.

Guidance from the Cabinet Office states that ministries should no longer engage with ‘external assurance and benchmarking organisations'

Guidance from the Cabinet Office states that ministries should no longer engage with ‘external assurance and benchmarking organisations’

A spokesman said: ‘To ensure value for taxpayer money and to reduce spends on consultancy, the civil service will become less reliant on external organisations for its diversity advice and policy. Procedures will also be tightened up… to make sure political views do not influence civil service advice on diversity and inclusion policies and actions.’

In May Stonewall’s chief executive Nancy Kelley claimed ‘gender critical’ beliefs – the belief that a person’s biological sex cannot be changed – were akin to anti-Semitism.

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