Stonewall received £2.6 million in government grants

Embargoed: 00:01 Monday 14 June 2021


With the ongoing departure of government departments and universities from Stonewall’s Diversity Champions scheme, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has revealed that the charity received at least £2,616,102 in government grants between 2015-16 and 2018-19.

This was money received over and above amounts given in public sector subscriptions to the Diversity Champions programme, which 250 departments and public bodies have signed up to. Organisations pay for guidance on issues such as gender-neutral spaces, pronouns, and transgender inclusion. It means the total cost to taxpayers is likely to be much higher than the money given via these grants revealed by the TPA.

The Department for Education, which provided the largest total grant over the period at £934,424, was responsible for the Government Equalities Office up to 1 April 2018.  

TaxPayers’ Alliance is calling for an end to the practice of taxpayer-funded lobbying, so public money is not used to distort political decision making by advancing policy positions taxpayers may seriously disagree with.



Key Findings:

  • Between 2015-16 and 2018-19, Stonewall received at least £2,616,102 in grants from government bodies. The year 2018-19 saw the largest amount, with the organisation receiving £748,295.

  • These figures are an underestimate of the actual total. This is because a significant proportion of Stonewall’s income is from fees (such as Diversity Champions) and events.

  • The Department for Education provided the largest total grant over the period at £934,424. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Welsh government were the second and third largest public sector sources for grants, giving £660,028 and £552,326 respectively.



John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 

“Taxpayers are fed up with governments giving grants to campaigners who lecture and lobby. 

“The public purse should not be paying out to pressure groups who in turn are using that cash to push for policy changes. 

“Ministers must put a stop to the grants and schemes which support this maddening merry-go-round.”



TPA spokesmen are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)



Media contact:

Danielle Boxall
Media Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
[email protected]
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)


Notes to editors:

  1. Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) campaigns to reform taxes and public services, cut waste and speak up for British taxpayers. Find out more at

  2. TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.

  3. The TaxPayers’ Alliance found that almost £40 million of taxpayers' money paid for lobbying and political campaigning from 2017-19. Like other groups such as Greenpeace, the TaxPayers’ Alliance does not receive any public funding.

  4. The TaxPayers’ Alliance found that three government departments spent £57,467 on gender-neutral toilets, nine departments spent £6,342 on LGBT+ lanyards, and eight departments spent over £1,533 on LGBT+ flags.
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