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£1m lottery grants given to transgender lobby groups

February 2019

Lottery grants totalling about £1millon have been awarded to two lobbying groups to push transgender campaign issues.

On the face of it, the grants appear to break the rules about lottery grants not being given to support political campaigning.

The Big Lottery Fund (BLF) was set to award £500,000 to Mermaids, a transgender charity. And it was set to award a further £494,000 to gay rights group Stonewall to ‘empower trans leaders and organisations’.

But the Sunday Times criticised the grants, questioning whether other causes were missing out on funding.

The newspaper polled its readers, asking whether BLF is supporting the right causes, and found 93 per cent of readers said ‘no’.

Following the Sunday Times criticisms, BLF said it will review the grants. But while the review was ongoing, a BLF spokesman defended the Fund.

The spokesman said, ‘National Lottery funding is for everyone. Our awards go to community organisations that are the lifeblood of civil society across the UK, including those who support the disadvantaged and the marginalised.

‘Our decision-making processes are robust and designed to provide the appropriate levels of scrutiny for the applications we receive.

‘Our funding always has the same purpose: to help people and communities thrive’.

Stonewall claimed that the Sunday Times article was ‘vicious’ and they said they would be making a formal complaint.

The government is currently proposing legislation to make it much quicker and easier for a person to legally change gender.