Stonewall’s influence on BBC and Ofcom revealed

Oct 15, 2021 by

by David Thompson, BBC News:

The extent of the influence of LGBTQ charity Stonewall in public bodies across the UK has been revealed in a BBC investigation.

Governments, Ofcom and the BBC have had their impartiality questioned after involvement in the lobby group’s diversity schemes.

A number of high profile organisations have left Stonewall’s schemes in recent months amid growing controversy about the influence of the group on public policy.

Stonewall says it works for LGBTQ equality and that it is “deeply disappointing” that this can still be thought of as controversial.

Stonewall operates two schemes which have come under scrutiny in recent months. The “Diversity Champions” programme is a service Stonewall provides to employers for a fee, to advise them on diversity and inclusion. The Workplace Equality Index is a public ranking of organisations, which is scored by Stonewall, and does not require a fee to enter.

The Nolan Investigates podcast sought information on the schemes under Freedom of Information (FOI) laws. The information contained within the documents revealed what the lobby group was asking organisations to do to improve their ranking on the Workplace Equality Index.

Some organisations, including the BBC, refused to release the information on the grounds that it could “have a detrimental impact on the commercial revenue of Stonewall”.

Stonewall declined to take part in the series.

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