Diversity Champion: It is time for me to ‘come out’ – I am a Freemason

I like to think of my life as being an open book. Whether it be my membership of the Liberal Democrats (or even that I used to be a Tory), my passion for Rochdale Football Club, or my sexual orientation; it is all out there clearly on public display. I’m even reasonably open that I… Read More

Promoting Inclusion in Football: My response to The FA IAB Statement

I am mystified and shocked by the FA’s vituperative statement regarding my removal from its Inclusion Advisory Board, which seems to impugn my personal integrity. As an experienced non-executive director, I have always sought to work in an open and collaborative way with my colleagues both within the FA and beyond. To say otherwise is… Read More

Another victory for the Lionesses, yet still women’s football remains vastly undervalued

Yesterday – Saturday 5 April 2014 – I had the privilege of watching England beat Montenegro 9-0 in their FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier at Brighton’s Amex Community Stadium. It was an exceptional match, full of entertaining and skillful football, played in a spirit of friendship and good humour. Despite the appearance of the scoreline,… Read More

See It. Hear It. Report It. FA films help rid football of discrimination.

We all want to feel welcome and safe at football matches, whether we are on the pitch, in the dugout, or in the stands. Anti-LGBT discrimination, be it ‘banter’ between players and coaches or more blatant chanting from spectators can often lead to us feeling uncomfortable or even threatened. As an FA disciplinary chair and… Read More

Gender diversity in the City: Lloyds Banking Group takes up Lord Mayor’s challenge

2014 is the year for promoting diversity in the Square Mile. The City’s second ever woman Lord Mayor, Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE, (shamefully given there have been 686 holders of the office) has made the power of diversity one of her key themes. In launching the programme in her 686 Plan, Fiona says: The City… Read More

UEFA’s ‘Respect’ must be more than a slogan: time to take action on racism and discrimination

Last night’s racist incidents at the Champion’s League match in Moscow between CSKA and Manchester City bring into sharp focus the need to make UEFA’s ‘Respect’ campaign more than just a slogan. Disciplinary action must be taken against clubs who allow their fans to behave in ways which discriminate against other fans, players, or members… Read More

“Bisexuality does exist, it is not a fiction, nor is it a phase”, my key message to Civil Service equality conference

I had the privilege of giving a keynote address to today’s Civil Service Rainbow Alliance (the national LGB&T staff network) conference at the Ministry of Defence. Also on the programme were Sir Bob Kerslake, Head of the Civil Service; Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions; Liz Bingham, managing Partner at EY; and Peter Tatchell… Read More

Worth the paper they’re printed on? Time to stop conning students with worthless degrees.

It is ten days after the A level results were published and some universities are now getting desperate. According to this morning’s Sunday Times a reporter posing as a sixth former with two E’s was offered a place on law and engineering courses at Bedfordshire University. Leeds Metropolitan University offered a place on an architecture course… Read More

In memory of Harvey Milk – defending principles, fighting prejudice

Yesterday evening, my partner and I watched the 2008 film Milk, which tells the story of the political career of San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk, America’s first openly gay elected public official. Milk was an inspirational figure who overcame prejudice and even violence during his campaigns to be elected, but was ultimately assassinated in… Read More

a judicial system for all, not just the privileged few

The Ministry of Justice is in trouble. Its finances are a mess and it is struggling to find savings across its responsibilities for the Courts & Tribunals Service, Prisons, and Probation. But unlike other departments of state, the ‘overspend’ is not due to profligacy by ministers of whatever colour nor to lack of budgetary control… Read More