8 Oct 2015
Andrew Purkis OBE is a trustee and former chair of ActionAid and until July 2010 was a board member of the Charity Commission.
He is a consultant in the sector who has previously been chair of the Green Alliance, Living Streets and the Empty Homes Agency, and a trustee of Contact a Family.
After completing a degree in modern history and a Doctorate of Philosophy at Oxford University, Purkis spent six years as a fast-stream civil servant in the Northern Ireland Office and then moved into the voluntary sector as head of policy and assistant director at the NCVO from 1980 until 1987.
After that he became national director of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, then secretary for public affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury; chief executive of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and chief executive of the Tropical Health and Education Trust.
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At a time when the legitimacy of charity campaigning is being questioned in some quarters, Andrew Purkis demonstrates how a rich history of charitable political activity has helped shape the society we enjoy today.
In light of recent suggestions that charities should not be involved in political campaigning, Andrew Purkis assesses the damage from some serial serious offenders, ranging from the Girl Guides to William Wilberforce.
Is the William Shawcross vision of charity regulation the correct one, asks Andrew Purkis.
The minister for civil society has made some welcome statements on charity campaigning, says Andrew Purkis, but his comments about the RSPCA and RSPB are badly judged.
The Charity Commission and the Conservative government have “sullied the UK’s reputation for exemplary regulation of civil society” by limiting charities’ right to campaign, a former Commission board member has said.
The Charity Commission has said charity leaders must avoid the appearance of being party political. If so, it will have to try to silence the archbishops, says Andrew Purkis.
19 Nov 2015
11 Feb 2016