The Charity Commission has confirmed that it has opened a compliance case into War on Want after receiving complaints about its campaigning and political activities.
A Charity Commission spokesman confirmed to Civil Society News that it had received “some complaints about the charity in recent years” and said that the regulator intends to publish an operational case report of its engagement with War on Want.
“The Commission has received some complaints about the charity in recent years, particularly in respect of its campaigning and political activities. We have engaged with the charity about these issues as and when they arise and continue to do so.
“We intend to publish an operational case report to explain our current engagement and conclusions when we close our case.”
A War on Want spokesman said that, as far as the organisation was concerned, the operational case was opened as a result of a lone complaint made in summer 2015 relating to its “work for human rights in Palestine”. He also said that the Commission did not take up “any of the claims made on behalf of the complainant”.
"We understand that the Charity Commission received a complaint in summer 2015 in relation to our work for human rights in Palestine.
"The Charity Commission opened a case file to look into the complaint, and sent a letter to War on Want asking us to respond to the claims made. We did so, and were subsequently told by the Charity Commission that it would not be taking up any of the claims made on behalf of the complainant.
“We understand that the Charity Commission will publish an operational case report once we have finalised our discussion of the more general issues raised in order to draw out any matters of interest for the charity sector, in line with the Charity Commission's broader use of operational case reports for information purposes over the past two years."
The case is the latest in a string of interactions between the charity regulator and War on Want, after the Sunday Telegraph recently published an erroneous article claiming that the Department for International Development had withdrawn funding from the organisation over claims of it being anti-Semitic.
The Sunday Telegraph later removed this claim from the digital version of its article but, as yet, has not printed a retraction or apology.