LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall CEO Nancy Kelley resigns

Nancy Kelley has confirmed that she will be resigning as CEO of LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall.

Kelley, who was appointed as the organisation’s CEO in May 2020, has said she will be leaving Stonewall at the end of July, adding that it has been a “privilege” to run the organisation.

“I’m sad to share that I’ll be leaving Stonewall at the end of this month. Sad, but so SO proud of what we’ve achieved in the last three years,” Kelly announced on Twitter.

Alongside a long list of the charity’s achievements since she took the helm, Kelley slammed the “unprecedented attacks” the charity has faced due to its support for trans rights.

“I leave this job as the anti-gender / anti-rights movement is running rampant around the globe, and the transphobic moral panic created here in the UK is being exported everywhere.

“The time for us all to stand up is long past. We need your help,” she wrote.

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“I can’t say its always been a pleasure, but it has surely been a privilege leading Stonewall. And whatever comes next for me, in every way I can, I will continue to stand with our community, and continue to fight for a world where we are ALL free.”

Kelley’s time as CEO has seen her champion trans rights, fight for GRA reform in Scotland, march at Trans Pride in London and campaign for an end to so-called conversion therapy practices once and for all.

Stonewall’s chair of trustees, Iain Anderson, praised the “tangible, life-changing impacts” Kelley achieved in her work with the charity.

Anderson told PinkNews: “Nancy is stepping back after three incredible years at Stonewall. She has been at the heart of advancing and protecting LGBTQ+ people’s rights, not just across the UK but across the world.

“Under Nancy’s leadership Stonewall has achieved tangible, life-changing impacts for LGBTQ+ people, and the entire board and staff are grateful for her leadership.”

“The board will now be working with the Senior Leadership Team to ensure that Stonewall continues to strengthen its work to support inclusive diverse workplaces and communities, alongside our fantastic domestic and global human rights campaigning. We are fully committed to our current Free to Be strategy.”

Stonewall was founded in 1989 in opposition to Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s Section 28 legislation.

Under Kelley’s tenure, the charity has faced attacks for its support for trans rights, with the Telegraph claiming its diversity schemes would cause the “erosion of biological sex, of men and women and traditional values”.

In 2021, both the BBC and the government’s cabinet office withdrew from the charity’s
Diversity Champion scheme, though the government claimed the decision was not political, and concerned “value for money”. The BBC, however, claimed that it would have to step back from Stonewall in order to “minimise the risk of perceived bias”.

A Stonewall spokesperson said at the time: “It is shocking that organisations are being pressured into rolling back support for LGBTQ+ employees … ultimately, it is LGBTQ+ people who suffer.”

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