Stonewall receives over a MILLION pounds of taxpayer money every year
British public bodies have donated over a million per year to the LGBTQ+ lobby group Stonewall despite government departments being told to withdraw from the Diversity Champions scheme.
Membership for the scheme cost taxpayers at least £709,225 in 2021-22 with 234 public organisations paying subscriptions, according to the Taxpayers Alliance.
The number of paying organisations has reduced from 327 between 2018-19 and 2020-21 as most police forces, Companies House and the Museum of London left the scheme.
But 175 public bodies have admitted to remaining as members including the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and DEFRA, despite Liz Truss pushing for all government departments to leave in May 2021.
In addition to the membership cost, Taxpayers’ money was used to attend conferences, events and training programmes at a cost of £108,602.
Grants worth £403,395 were also given to the charity from public bodies in 2021-22.
The devolved governments were the most generous grant givers with £168,870 from the Welsh Government and £99,917 from Scotland.
In total the figures amount to £1,221,222 being given to the group every year.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance is now calling for an end to the practice of taxpayer-funded lobbying to ensure public money is not being used to “distort political decision making” and savings can be made.
Duncan Simpson of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: “Taxpayers should not be subsidising controversial campaigners.
“Some public bodies continue to prop up pressure groups like Stonewall with taxpayers’ cash, despite ministers urging against it and budgets facing a serious squeeze.
“Withdrawing from unnecessary schemes and cutting gratuitous grants are obvious ways that savings can be found.”