Charity Stonewall's £1.25m from the taxpayer over 18 month period

Stonewall’s £1.25m from the taxpayer: Charity is still receiving public money after Foreign Secretary Liz Truss questioned its value

  • Stonewall received £1.25 million in taxpayer-funded grants over 18 months
  • Biggest donor was Foreign Office, with £756,000 given over that period 
  • Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told ministers to distance themselves from Stonewall

The Foreign Office is still ploughing hundreds of thousands a year into Stonewall – even though Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has called on ministers to distance themselves from the controversial charity.

Accounts show that public bodies gave £1.25 million in taxpayer-funded grants over 18 months – a large increase on the amount handed over in the previous year.

A total of five public organisations gave money to the charity, making up more than half of the grants Stonewall received.

By far the biggest funder was the Foreign Office, which gave £765,061 over the 18 months to March 2021, compared to just £145,075 in the one-year period to the end of September 2019.

Last year, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (then International Trade Secretary) told officials she believed government departments should withdraw from the Stonewall scheme as it did not provide value for money

This was money Stonewall received over and above amounts given in public sector subscriptions to the controversial Diversity Champions scheme.

Miss Truss, who is also equalities minister, has urged ministers to withdraw from this scheme over concerns it is not value for money.

Critics say companies that sign up are advised to rewrite their policies to reflect the charity’s agenda on trans rights. 

Hundreds of firms and public bodies have joined the scheme to receive advice on how to create an inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers.

The controversial scheme counts 200 government departments and public bodies among its 900 members, which pay for guidance on issues such as pronouns and gender-neutral spaces. 

Last May, Stonewall chief executive Nancy Kelley courted controversy when she said ‘gender critical’ beliefs – the belief a person’s biological sex cannot be changed – were akin to anti-Semitism.

Duncan Simpson, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Taxpayers are fed up with public bodies giving ever more grants to controversial campaigners. 

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

‘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. Ministers must put a stop to these grants.’

Stonewall received £1,249,363 in grants from taxpayer-funded bodies in the 18 months to March 2021. This is up 67 per cent on the £748,295 it received in 2018/19.

The Foreign Office said it ‘provides funding to Stonewall to defend the human rights of LGBT+ people around the world, with programmes that tackle discrimination and hate crime running across Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America’.

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