.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Right-wing think tank issued with formal warning after Brexit report ‘breached charity law’

The Independent reports that right-wing think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), has been issued with a formal warning over breaches of charity law following the publication of a Brexit report.

They say that the Charity Commission‘s warning was handed down in relation to a publication which urged Theresa May to ditch her Chequers plan and which the regulator found was “not sufficiently balanced and neutral”. The document, “Plan A+ Creating a Prosperous Post-Brexit UK”, was backed by prominent Brexiteers David Davis, Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg when it was published in summer 2018:

The commission said the report “sought explicitly to change government policy on an issue unrelated to the charity’s purposes,” amounting to a breach of regulations on political activitiy and campaigning.

The IEA, which is registered as an educational charity, removed the report from its website after receiving a draft warning from the commission but said it was ”disappointed” with the report, which it claimed had “extremely widespread and worrying implications”.

The regulator’s warning said the IEA ”was not sufficiently balanced and neutral, as required by law from charities with educational purposes,” and also criticised the free-market think thank for only inviting speakers “who held a particular set of views” to the report’s launch event.

This risked “the public perception that the IEA is politically biased and has a political viewpoint on a key government policy,” the commission said.

Speakers at the launch event included Mr Davis, the former Brexit secretary, and Mr Rees-Mogg, the Conservative backbencher.

The commission said the event ”provided a platform” for Brexiteers to campaign against the government’s EU withdrawal proposals. This “clearly constitutes political activity” and was “an inappropriate use of charitable resources”, it added.

The commission said the report “contravened the legal and regulatory requirements” for educational charities and “amounted to misconduct and mismanagement on the part of the trustees”.

This is yet another pro-Brexit body that has had its knuckles rapped for breaking the rules. No wonder people think that a clear pattern is developing.
It might be worth clarifying that the Independent as quoted has a typo. "This “clearly constitutes political activity” and was not “an inappropriate use of charitable resources”, it added." The word "not" is not intended to be there, because the Commissioners are clearly saying that it *was* inappropriate.
Thanks. I have edited the quote on here so it is clearer
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?