Regulator contacts charity over blasphemy protests at Yorkshire school

26 Mar 2021 News

The Charity Commission has raised regulatory concerns with trustees whose charity is at the heart of a blasphemy row.

Purpose of Life, which works in Yorkshire and overseas, released a letter yesterday naming a local teacher In Batley, Yorkshire, accused of showing a picture of the Prophet Mohammed during a lesson.

The letter, signed by the charity’s founder, called the teacher a “terrorist” and “sadist”.

Police were called to a subsequent protest outside the school, and government ministers have called on parents to end their demonstrations.

The school has apologised for the incident and suspended the teacher, who is now reportedly receiving police protection.

Regulator response

A Charity Commission spokesperson told Civil Society News: “We have contacted the trustees of Purpose of Life today for further information and their response to our regulatory concerns; this will inform our next steps.

“We cannot comment further at this time.”

No details on spending

Purpose of Life had an income of just under £300,000 last year, according to the latest accounts filed with the Charity Commission, and has almost doubled in size since 2018. The charity has three trustees.

The accounts show that it spent £214,000 in 2019-20, but do not provide any details of how that money was spent or how it was distributed in other countries.

The charity says on its website that it has a “strict 100% donations policy”, so that all fundraising from the public goes directly to the frontline. The charity says of administrative costs, including expenses: “We are proud to cover these costs ourselves, or through separate funding [such as] sponsorship.”

The accounts show that Purpose of Life spent over £40,000 on governance last year. 

The charity did not respond to requests for comment.

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector, sign up to receive the Civil Society News daily bulletin here.

 

More on