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Royal Navy spends £2.4million on 'diversity and inclusion team'


The Royal Navy has splashed out £2.4million on dedicated diversity and inclusion staff in recent years at a time when defence budgets are more constrained than ever, ministers have admitted.

The figure on diversity spending came from an answer to a parliamentary question given by defence under-secretary Andrew Murrison to Mr Hayes, who has exposed much of the workings of the military's push for diversity.

The Navy had spent £2,445,980 on salaries for people employed in 'dedicated diversity and inclusion policy roles from 2019 to 2023', Mr Murrison said.

The under-secretary added: 'The Royal Navy has a number of individuals whose roles encompass diversity and inclusion.

'Service personnel rotate through postings which can include diversity and inclusion roles. Their work is supported by a small number of civil servants.

'Each of these individuals are paid commensurate to their rank and training.

'In February 2024, the Secretary of State for Defence ordered a root and branch review of ethnicity, diversity and inclusivity policies in defence which is ongoing.'

Mr Hayes has also unearthed other details of the MoD's spending on diversity campaigns, with a total of £1.5million spent on 'ethnic minority and women campaigns and initiatives' between 2019 and 2022.

As of February, the Navy had 15 people recruited in roles dedicated to diversity and inclusion, with another 13 in the Army and 14 in the RAF, with 10 other positions open for recruitment.

The Royal Navy itself says it promotes an 'inclusive culture' that encourages people to join up regardless of their gender, religion or sexual orientation.

Guidance published in 2022 suggests each unit within the Navy has a dedicated diversity and inclusion lead, generally the second-in-command, with other soldiers encouraged to become 'practitioners', 'advisors' or less formal 'associates'.