Two members of the House of Lords in their eighties have been banned from parliament’s bars, restaurants, and the library for refusing to undertake reeducation on sexual harassment and bullying.
On Tuesday, members of the upper house voted by 315 to 86 to ban hereditary Peer Lord Willoughby de Broke, 82, and Lord Kalms, 89, formerly the chairman of Dixons Retail, from the facilities because they had refused the much-criticised “Valuing Everyone” training.
A House of Lords spokesman told The Times that the very senior public servants would “have their access to services of the House restricted to minimise their contact with staff following their refusal to take part in Valuing Everyone training”.
While the Lords Conduct Committee had earlier this month said there was “no suggestion” the men had “behaved inappropriately” with staff, Valuing Everyone training was made mandatory for Lords last year, and the committee said that refusal to engage in it was worthy of “sanction” and isolation from other staff.
Lord Willoughby de Broke had described the training as “virtue signalling”, saying: “However much training I get I will never value everyone; as an example, I will never be able to value murderous terrorists, however many re-education or self-criticism camps I am required to attend.”
The Lords’ ethics watchdog investigated some 60 peers and threatened with punishment those who failed to attend the course, which started in April, including 91-year-old Baronness Betty Boothroyd, who missed the session because she was recovering from open-heart surgery.
Watch: Tory MP Says He Will Not Take Unconscious Bias Training; Trump ‘Exactly Right’ to Ban ‘Indoctrination’ https://t.co/dssrO5Hite
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 26, 2020
Valuing Everyone is run by Challenge Consultancy, who the House of Commons Speaker revealed was paid £884,354 in taxpayers’ money to run training programmes across the whole of parliament.
In September, it was reported that 40 Conservatives planned to refuse to undertake the Black Lives Matter-inspired “unconscious bias training” being offered to MPs in the House of Commons, with one reported to have said that he “would really rather gouge my eyes out with a blunt stick than sit through that Marxist, snake oil crap”.
One Tory MP, Ben Bradley, who broke ranks and publicly rejected the training, calling it “indoctrination”, telling Breitbart London that after having been “forced to do three hours of ‘Valuing Everybody’ training which was three quarters of a million quid of ‘Be nice to your staff and don’t sexually harass them’”, he was confronted with the prospect of “‘unconscious bias training’ — £7,000 for the planning, they use a nice blue puppet. Like primary school style stuff… Really mad stuff.”
The Telegraph reported in December that unconscious bias training for civil servants would be scrapped because there was no evidence it improved workplace equality, with one government source speaking to the newspaper saying that in some cases, it led to negative consequences. In the past five years, unconscious bias training for nearly 170,000 Whitehall staff had cost the British taxpayer £370,000.
Last month, Home Secretary Priti Patel ordered the end of unconscious bias training for immigration officers in UK Visas and Immigration and Border Force. Again, Challenge Consultancy had reportedly been paid £32,510 for reeducating the Home Office’s immigration enforcers.
Unconscious Bias Training for Border Force Officials Scrapped by Priti Patel https://t.co/IUcg8Gxpv1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 21, 2021