Stephen Nolan issues open invite to trangender lobbyists amid explosion of anger at his BBC investigation

Stephen Nolan has issued an open invitation to transgender lobby group Stonewall to contribute to a major new series he is presenting, all about the influence such activists have over public life in the UK.

By Adam Kula
Monday, 18th October 2021, 9:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 6:32 pm
A logo promoted by Nottinghamshire Police, one of many organisations to have sought to align themselves with Stonewall’s views; in Northern Ireland, the PSNI has increasingly become involved in LGBTQQIA+ campaigns too
A logo promoted by Nottinghamshire Police, one of many organisations to have sought to align themselves with Stonewall’s views; in Northern Ireland, the PSNI has increasingly become involved in LGBTQQIA+ campaigns too

Mr Nolan and his team have completed a 10-episode series investigating the spread of Stonewall’s ideas within government, and the BBC itself.

The series is available only as a podcast online, with episodes ranging from half-an-hour to a full hour.

Stonewall, the Nolan team said, “declined to take part”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

However, Mr Nolan has made the following pledge: “We would like to offer another opportunity for Stonewall to be part of our podcast series.

“We would commit to creating an additional episode of Nolan Investigates, if Stonewall would like to sit down with me. We want to listen.”

Many transgender activists refuse to get involved in discussions about the topic, with a common mantra being “trans rights are not a debate”.

The Nolan series, which went live last week, has prompted a ferocious reaction from activists.

For example, the website PinkNews (whose editor took part in the series) ran a story headlined: “Politicians and senior LGBT+ figures stand with Stonewall in wake of BBC attack.”

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “There is what appears to be a campaign in some parts of the media.

“The coverage of trans rights and trans issues is terrible. So I stand with Stonewall.”

And one of the co-founders of Stonewall, Michael Cashman, wrote: “Do I stand with an organisation @BBCNews that has a biased view against trans people and has informed current affairs staff they cannot attend marches like Pride or do I stand with @stonewalluk?

“#IStandWithStonewall Easy.”

(A follower then objected to the term “stand with”, saying that it “could be considered ableist”).


Over the last several years, the issue of transgenderism has emerged from the fringes of academia to become a dominant theme of our time.

Transgender campaigners have been embraced by organisations which used to devote themselves wholly to gay rights, like Stonewall.

These campaigners have long since moved on from issues like gay marriage to this new territory.

This involves promoting the idea that people can switch at will from being male to female, or vice versa, regardless of their biology, and that this is to be celebrated.

They also state that there are not two genders, but many, and that children should be encouraged to think in these terms.

For example, one of the things examined in Mr Nolan’s series is a video which the BBC unveiled at the start of this year called ‘Understanding Sexual and Gender Identities’.

It featured a teacher telling children aged roughly about 10: “There are so many gender identities. So we know we’ve got male and female, but there are over 100, if not more, gender identities now.”

The BBC has since removed this video from its website.

The Nolan series argues that Stonewall’s influence runs deep in the BBC, and indicates it has altered its policies at the behest of the group.

The series is somewhat unusual, in that it is a UK-wide investigation led by the Belfast-based Nolan crew.

Stonewall’s area of influence is mainly confined to Great Britain, whilst similar groups like The Rainbow Project and Transgender NI generally take the lead on such issues in Northern Ireland.

The News Letter asked the BBC why it had fallen to a regional news team to conduct a UK-wide investigation (as opposed to bringing in Panorama, for example).

It said: “The Nolan Investigates podcast was made to be available on a nationwide platform – BBC Sounds.”

The BBC would not give listener figures.

A BBC statement read out on the series said: “The BBC acts independently in all aspects of our operations, from HR policy to editorial guidelines and content.

“We aim to be industry leading on workforce inclusion and take advice from a range of external organisations. However, we make the final decision on any BBC policies or practices ourselves.

“We’re not a member of Stonewall, we do not take legal advice from Stonewall, and we do not subscribe to Stonewall’s campaigning.

“The charity simply provides advice that we are able to consider. 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 OFCOM broadcasting code.”

More on this subject:

——— ———

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Ben Lowry