The Charity Commission has revealed that it has exercised its power to remove a trustee at least 38 times since 2002.
Charlotte Leslie, MP for Bristol North West, posed the question to Nick Hurd, minister for civil society. He deferred to the Charity Commission and chief executive Sam Younger responded yesterday (5 September) with a year-by-year list.
Almost one-third of the 38 trustees were removed in 2003/04, with 12 disqualified that year. In the last three years only three trustees have been removed, while the previous three years saw 16 removals.
Due to a lack of central records prior to 2007/08 the figures represent only those records found by manual search for the years between 2002/03 and 2007/08. "There were at least this many removal orders made in each year," Younger advised.
A trustee can be removed by the Charity Commission or High Court on grounds of misconduct or mismanagement. The Commission holds a register of these trustees, but it does not include trustees disqualified due to any other reason, such as insolvency or criminal convictions.
In 2008/09 the Charity Commission used its power to remove Nagendram Seevaratnam as trustee of Sivayogam. But this removal was overturned by the Charity Tribunal in the first case of a Charity Commission decision ever overturned.
This same year four further trustees were removed from the register. The Diabetes Foundation and Diabetes Help Ltd both had trustees removed, as did an African mental health charity and the now-removed Muslim health charity Al Ikhlas Foundation.
The number of trustees removed by the Charity Commission by year is shown below: