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Speaker’s Statement

Volume 619: debated on Thursday 19 January 2017

I should like to make a brief statement to the House.

The House of Commons Service has participated in Stonewall’s workplace equality index for the past five years. Stonewall is the largest charity in Europe in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. This year, Stonewall has announced that we have achieved a place in its index of the top 100 LGBT-friendly employers, ranking 28th with a score of 155 out of 200 points. Colleagues, this is an impressive rise of 88 places on last year’s index ranking of 116th, and the first time that we have been named in the published top 100. In addition to this score, ParliOUT, the parliamentary workplace equality network for LGBT equality, has been named one of Stonewall's “highly commended network groups”. Among its achievements in 2016, ParliOUT members raised money to buy the rainbow flag that flew over Parliament for the first time during London Pride weekend in June.

I should like to thank stakeholders from across Parliament for their support in this achievement, led by the redoubtable Anne Foster and her colleagues in the House of Commons Diversity and Inclusion team, and an achievement which I confess I have been passionately championing as Speaker. I hope that this news demonstrates our commitment to being an inclusive employer and institution.

We are pleased with the progress and we shall now redouble our efforts in the coming years to improve further upon it.