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Charity Commission removes Galloway spokesman from Viva Palestina accounts order

Charity Commission removes Galloway spokesman from Viva Palestina accounts order
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Charity Commission removes Galloway spokesman from Viva Palestina accounts order1

Governance | David Ainsworth | 7 Jan 2014

The Charity Commission has withdrawn a requirement for Ron McKay, spokesman for Respect Party MP George Galloway, to file accounts for Viva Palestina, a Middle East aid charity which Galloway set up in 2009.

As part of an ongoing Commission investigation into Viva Palestina, McKay was last year ordered to file accounts for the charity. But he appealed to the Charity Tribunal, saying he was not a trustee and was not able to file accounts on behalf of the charity. His appeal has now been withdrawn after the Commission agreed to remove his name from an order requring the charity to file accounts. The order itself remains in force.

The Commission opened a statutory inquiry into the charity in July this year over a number of regulatory issues, including the fact that it has never filed accounts. As part of the ongoing inquiry, the regulator issued an order under section 84 of the Charities Act 2011 in September last year, requiring McKay and others to file accounts for the charity for the years ending 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Former supporters of the charity told civilsociety.co.uk that McKay has previously claimed to be a trustee of Viva Palestina. However McKay himself says that he never served as a trustee, although he said he had been a sympathiser and had spoken on its behalf to the Commission.

He appealed against the section 84 order to the Charity Tribunal in October last year, and his appeal was allowed to proceed by Alison McKenna, principal judge at the Tribunal, even though it was made outside the normal 42-day time limit.

The Commission has confirmed that it has now removed McKay’s name from the order, although it still requires the charity to file accounts.

The Commission previously conducted an inquiry into the charity which concluded in March 2010, and which found it had claimed to raise over £1m, but had only actually raised £180,000.

The Commission said it could make no further comment while the investigation was ongoing. Civilsociety.co.uk contacted McKay but he was not available for comment.

 This story was amended on 7th January 2013.

Sa'id
Media Producer
eventmedia4u@gmail.com
8 Jan 2014

What utter rubbish I have evidence where Ron Mckay states in 2012 he was an interim director for Viva Palestina.

I checked with Charity Commission and they stated a trustee is also someone who claims to be a director of a charity. It is not a legal requirement for the trustees to inform the Charity Commission straight away but it is something of which should be informed within a reasonable time period.

What is the point of having a Charity Commission which should regulate charities when they cannot even regulate.

Charities like Viva Palestina take advantage of the weaknesses of the Charity Commission to abuse the rights of the little people who sincerely give their hard earned cast with good intention and in the end feel cheated by such so called charities.

Outrageous! I wonder by the fact that Ron Mckay is a close friend and employee of MP George Galloway makes a big difference in how such an investigation is performed and carried out.

I don't if you will allow this comment but it is about time this Country (U.K.) started to treat all people equal even if they have friends in high places.

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