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Stonewall waste £650,000 of taxpayer cash on axed LGBT summit


Stonewall has been accused of 'holding No 10 to ransom' after the charity staged a mass boycott of an LGBT international conference.

The Safe To Be Me summit was left in tatters earlier this week when more than 100 LGBT and HIV groups pulled out of the three-day event over the government's stance on conversion therapy - wasting £650,000 of taxpayers' money.

Stonewall was being paid to co-chair the summit's external organising body, however the group wrote an open letter to Mr Johnson saying they would only participate in the conference if he includes transgender people in any legislation against conversion therapy.

The event was due to be held in June to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first ever London Pride marches and was set to be the UK's first ever global LGBT summit.  

However ministers officially scrapped the event on Tuesday following the charity's mass boycott and the resignation of the Government's own LGBT adviser Iain Anderson, who is a Stonewall ambassador.

It comes as £650,000 of taxpayer cash was spent on the conference on 'proposed venue advertising' before the event was scrapped - with the true spending likely to be higher as it excludes the 'salaries of at least eighteen civil servants who spent two years planning the event' and obtaining sponsors with overseas trips.

It was also reported that the Cabinet Office 'signed off £5 million in February 2022' for the Government Equalities Office to plan the three-day conference, with the 'required' budget totalling £8.1million.

The final £3.1million was expected to be signed off closer to the Safe To Be Me summit's date.