Following in the footsteps of Ofcom and the EHRC, the BBC has finally announced it’s ditching Stonewall’s controversial “Diversity Champions Programme” over impartiality concerns. In a statement released this afternoon, the broadcaster said:
“The BBC is fully committed to being an industry-leading employer on LGBTQ+ inclusion. We are proud of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans colleagues and we support them to have fulfilling careers at the BBC.
“Along with many other UK employers, the BBC has participated in Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme to support our objective to create a fully inclusive workplace. However, over time our participation in the Programme has led some to question whether the BBC can be impartial when reporting on public policy debates where Stonewall is taking an active role.
“After careful consideration, we believe it is time to step back from the Diversity Champions Programme and will also no longer participate in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index […] As a broadcaster, we have our own values and editorial standards – these are clearly set out and published in our Editorial Guidelines. We are also governed by the Royal Charter and the Ofcom Broadcasting Code. Our journalists continue, as ever, to report a full range of perspectives on stories.”
This was a long time coming. Given the number of private bodies that’ve already retracted their support for the group – not to mention Liz Truss’s own calls for government departments to do the same – it was only a matter of time before the BBC had to act: it could hardly claim to be impartial while standing alongside a group that compared mainstream gender critical beliefs to antisemitism. Still, at least Stonewall have enough taxpayers’ cash to chug along a little while longer…