RSPB under increased scrutiny over social media post as regulator opens case

18 Sep 2023 News

Infographic from RSPB's X post criticising government environment policy

The Charity Commission has increased its level of engagement with the RSPB over its social media activity by opening a compliance case, the regulator has confirmed.

Last month, RSPB called prime minister Rishi Sunak and two other government ministers “liars” over their environment pledges.

The charity apologised hours later after a trustee publicly criticised its thread on X, formerly known as Twitter, but has not yet deleted the original post.

Earlier this month, the Commission said it was engaging with the charity over the social media post, which it described as a “serious mistake”.

The regulator has now confirmed it has opened a compliance case to assess information RSPB’s trustees have shared with it on the matter.

A spokesperson for the regulator said: “This was a serious mistake and we continue to engage the charity on this matter.

“The trustees have shared information on the steps they are taking to review how the incident happened, and to ensure such mistakes do not occur in future.

“We have opened a regulatory compliance case to fully assess this information and to determine our next steps.”

The Commission said it welcomed efforts made by the trustees to address the issue and its public apologies for the post in question.

It also emphasised that it has not opened a statutory inquiry. 

An RSPB spokesperson said: “We have been in close contact with the Charity Commission since the incident occurred and will of course remain in dialogue with them.”

The charity’s original post has attracted over 10.8 million views at the time of writing.

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