Share

Galloway accuses 'political' Charity Commission

Galloway accuses 'political' Charity Commission
News

Galloway accuses 'political' Charity Commission

Fundraising | Vibeka Mair | 1 Apr 2009

George Galloway MP has accused the Charity Commission of political bias for launching an inquiry into his £1m charity appeal for Gaza.

The Lifeline for Gaza appeal (also known as the Viva Palestina appeal) raised over £1m for a convoy of 100 vehicles to send aid to Gaza in February 2009.

However, the Commission has concerns over the financial governance of the funds raised, and has decided to open an inquiry after failing to establish a dialogue with those connected with the appeal.

In a statement, the Commission said it had tried to contact the appeal on repeated occasions over the last month to establish that the funds held are for charitable purposes. But it has had no substantive responses from the appeal or individuals connected with it.

Although the appeal is not a registered charity, the Commission regards that the appeal has charitable purposes and therefore chosen to open an inquiry which gives it the power to freeze accounts or suspend trustees and employees.

'Outrageous behaviour'

Respect MP Galloway, however, has hit back at the Commission’s “outrageous behaviour”, claiming the appeal only received correspondence from the regulator this week.

“The Viva Palestina campaign has been in contact with the Charity Commission over the last week and sent it a substantial letter today in response to letters only received this morning.

“If anyone needs investigating, it is the Charity Commission itself. There is no good reason why the Commission should jump the gun and issue a statement that it is launching an investigation when, in fact, it was about to receive the information and correspondence it has asked for. But there are plenty of bad reasons for this outrageous behaviour.

“This isn’t the first time the Charity Commission has intervened in a blatantly political way. It did over my campaign against sanctions on Iraq, when it repeatedly went through the books of a political campaign despite the fact it never found anything untoward.”

In 2007, an inquiry into Galloway's Mariam Appeal, which sent medical aid to Iraqi children, found that the trustees "were not sufficiently vigilant” with regard to improper donations.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

SIBs have advantages but face problems with complexity, scale and evidence, BIG report finds

28 Nov 2014

Social impact bonds have several advantages but face challenges to success including complexity, scale...

Charities could lose out on gift aid under devolution settlement, tax experts warn

27 Nov 2014

Proposals from the Smith Commission to give Scotland powers over the rate of income tax will have “significant...

Joint registration between Charity Commission and HMRC delayed

27 Nov 2014

Plans for the Charity Commission and HM Revenue & Customs to set up a joint registration process for...

New policies in place at school following head’s 381 per cent pay rise

28 Nov 2014

The Charity Commission has closed a case reviewing the high pay of a school’s head after finding that...

Joint registration between Charity Commission and HMRC delayed

27 Nov 2014

Plans for the Charity Commission and HM Revenue & Customs to set up a joint registration process for...

NCVO backs Commission's focus on regulation

26 Nov 2014

NCVO supports the Charity Commission’s decision to focus more on regulation, but is cautious about the...

‘The challenge is getting people to use IT systems’

28 Nov 2014

Whatever type of customer-relationship management system charities use, the biggest challenge is convincing...

'Be careful what you say and don't be boring on social media'

27 Nov 2014

Don’t be too serious on social media and be prepared to pay for premium services, delegates at yesterday’s...

'Focus on people as well as technology', IT experts told

27 Nov 2014

IT directors need to learn when to step back and allow others in their organisation to experiment with...

Join the discussion

Twitter button

@CSFundraising