Stormont’s Stonewall spend

Stormont, the home of Northern Ireland’s assembly, has never exactly been a place associated with social liberalism. So Steerpike was surprised to find that the Ulster parliament – where the Bible-bashing Ian Paisley held court for so long – has spent thousands of pounds on controversial LGBT+ charity Stonewall.  Freedom of Information requests by Mr S found that the Assembly paid £7,500 to be members of the organisation’s ‘diversity champions programme’ between 2018 and 2021, with the Northern Ireland executive spending a further £1,440 for Stonewall seminars on leadership, allyship and promoting mental health since the beginning of 2020. Other recent diversity courses hosted by the executive include an LGBT workshop in 2018 – back

The next big hunting battle

In his memoirs, Tony Blair did not have much good to say about his government’s seven-year long struggle to ban fox hunting. The former PM, writing in 2010, admitted he deliberately sabotaged the 2004 Hunting Act to ensure there were enough loopholes to allow hunting to continue. Confessing that he initially agreed to a ban without properly understanding the issue, Blair wrote: ‘If I’d proposed solving the pension problem by compulsory euthanasia for every fifth pensioner I’d have got less trouble. By the end of it, I felt like the damn fox.’ Yet while the Act applies to England and Wales – with similar legislation passed in Scotland in 2002 – no such ban