Gay lobbying group Stonewall has named the Home Office as the best place for gay, lesbian and bisexual people to work in the UK.

The group released its annual list of the 100 top employers today. Lloyds Banking Group and Ernst & Young were in second and third place respectively.

Barclays won the award for Employee Network Group of the Year and Baker & McKenzie LLP was named named Most Improved Employer.

The full list will be announced tonight at an exclusive London ceremony.

This year, the Rugby Football League became the first sports employer to gain a place on the list and ITV is the first broadcaster to join the top 100.

The Home Office is the first government department to top the index.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: ‘I’m delighted the Home Office is being celebrated as an employer which supports the diversity of its staff. This government will continue to do all it can to tackle discrimination and help make this country a more tolerant and fair place for everybody.’

Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill said: “Competition was fiercer than ever to secure a place on the 2011 Top Employers List.

“We received more entries than any previous year. The index is a powerful tool used by Britain’s 1.7 million gay employees and 150,000 gay university students to decide where to take their talent and skills.”