The BBC has today announced it has become the latest organisation to ditch controversial LGBT charity Stonewall’s Diversity Champion’s programme. 

This is in response to Ofcom and the Equality and Human Rights Commission quitting the scheme.

Stonewall offers advice on creating an inclusive workplace for LGBT employees through the Diversity Champions program. Companies can sign up to this programme and pay Stonewall for their assistance.

But it has been recently mired in controversy after its Chief executive Nancy Kelley claimed ‘gender critical’ beliefs – the belief that a person’s biological sex cannot be changed – were like anti-Semitism.

The BBC spokesperson confirmed that the BBC was fully committed to becoming an industry leader in LGBTQ+ inclusion. Our lesbian, gay and bisexual colleagues are our proudest and we encourage them to pursue fulfilling careers at BBC.

“The BBC, along with other UK employers has taken part in Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme. This was to help us achieve our goal of creating an inclusive workplace. Over time, some have wondered if the BBC is impartial in its reporting of public policy debates in which Stonewall plays an active part.

“After much consideration we have decided to withdraw from the Diversity Champions Program and also will no longer be participating in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index.

BBC refused to confirm but said id did not 'subscribe to Stonewall campaigning'

BBC did not confirm the claim, however they stated that Id didn’t’subscribe’ to Stonewall campaigning.

Stonewall's Nancy Kelley claimed 'gender critical' beliefs – were like anti-Semitism

Stonewall’s Nancy Kelley claimed ‘gender critical’ beliefs – were like anti-Semitism

Stonewall's Diversity Champions is a programme where companies sign up and pay for advice from Stonewall on how to create an inclusive environment for LGBT workers

Stonewall’s Diversity Ambassadors is a program where employers can sign up for and pay Stonewall for assistance in creating an inclusive workplace for LGBT workers.

“Being part of Diversity Champions Programme does not require the BBC to support Stonewall’s campaigns or its policies. As a broadcaster, we have our own values and editorial standards – these are clearly set out and published in our Editorial Guidelines. Our broadcasting is governed by both the Royal Charter of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code. As always, our journalists report from a wide range of angles on stories.

“While the BBC is not renewing its participation to the Diversity Champions Programme,” said the BBC. But, the BBC plans to continue working with external organisations such as Stonewall to develop relevant projects for our LGBTQ+ staff.

Stonewall declared that it was a’shame’ that BBC has left the programme, along with a harsh statement: Many of today’s arguments against transpeople are simply rehashed homophobia from the 1980s and 1990s.

“We remember hearing that gay people are predators, and that lesbians pose a danger in single-sex environments.

“That was not true for lesbians, gay and bi people back then and that isn’t the case now. 

Matthew Parris was a journalist who also served as an MP and co-founded Stonewall. He accused Stonewall of being ‘tangled up with the trans issue’, and that it had ‘cornered into a extremist position’.

VICE News was informed by a BBC source last month that the BBC bosses felt it impossible to allow Stonewall to have any connection to the BBC because they need to be impartial on LGBT life.

“So our current plan is quietly to withdraw from the scheme and not renew their membership. This is a terrible idea. 

At least eight major organisations have left the Stonewall group's controversial scheme

Eight major organizations have resigned from the Stonewall Group’s scandalous scheme

This image, which was presented to employees as part of an internal BBC course set up in conjunction with the lobby group, depicts sex as a spectrum and defines gender identity as 'how you think about yourself'

The image was part of an internal BBC course that was jointly presented to the employees. It depicts sex in a spectrum. Gender identity is defined as “how you think about your self”.

BBC's impending departure comes after others, who include Ofcom abandoned programme

BBC’s imminent departure follows other programs, including the one that Ofcom discontinued.

People supporting the organization Stonewall during Pride in London back in July 2015

Stonewall was supported by people back in July 2015, during Pride in London

Ofcom was believed to be concerned about its relationships with Stonewall via the scheme. This could have a negative impact on its reputation.

According to a source, Ofcom examined Stonewall’s relationship and determined that there was a risk of conflict.

Also earlier in the year, The Equality and Human Rights Commission decided not to renew their membership because they did not believe it represented best value.

Ofcom sources claimed that it has now “laid the foundations” to improve LGBT support and is confident that it can “move forward positively” outside of the Stonewall scheme.

However, it will still be included in the charity’s Workplace Equality Index. This is an employer-reference tool.

Robbie de Santos (director of communications and campaign at Stonewall) stated: “Our collaboration with BBC focuses on building an LGBTQ+ inclusive workplace. It does not impact their impartiality.

“Supporting LGBTQ+ individuals in the workplace is not a controversial or political act.”