Senior Tory sought Libor funds for charity under Commission scrutiny

22 Nov 2016 News

© Credit: Robert Sharp/englishpen David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

 

Government minister David Davis lobbied then Chancellor George Osborne for Libor funds for a military charity which later came under scrutiny from the Charity Commission.

According to documents provided to Civil Society News by the Treasury following a Freedom on Information request, Brexit Minister David Davis MP wrote to then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in July 2015 to say that he thought the charity Care After Combat, which is currently being assessed by the Charity Commission, “deserved support from the Libor fund”. 

In the Autumn Statement four months later, it was revealed that the charity was to receive £1m from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund.

Media scrutiny

Care After Combat became the subject of media attention in recent months when a Sunday Times article claimed that potential improper payments had been made to its founder, comedian Jim Davidson OBE.

The article claimed that Davidson had said he was paid £54,000 a year by the charity, which was set up in 2014 to help prisoners who have previously been in the armed forces. 

It reported that Davidson took a salary of £43,000 a year from Care After Combat, plus expenses of about £11,000 if fundraising targets were met. 

These arrangements had also been criticised by Derek Cole, who resigned as Care After Combat’s chief executive in December 2015. Cole told The Sunday Times that he stood down rather than sanction them.

The Charity Commission revealed it had received a complaint about the charity and had subsequently visited its trustees. It said it was assessing information provided by the charity to see if there are any regulatory concerns about the payment of one of the charity’s trustees.

The Commission has today said that its case is ongoing. Jim Davidson is not currently listed as a trustee of the charity.

Davis: 'Not the easiest of projects to raise money for'

In the letter to Osborne, Davis wrote: “Care After Combat is the only charity providing mentoring for veterans both inside and outside prisons.

“This is not the easiest of projects to raise money for. The public is concerned for their veterans and looks to the HMG to fulfil Armed Forces Covenant Fund. This is why it would be right to allocate funds from the Libor fines to Care After Combat.”

The Sunday Times said that the payments to Davidson began soon after the charity received the £1m from the Libor fund. 

A Charity Commission spokesman today said: “The Commission is currently in contact with the charity who are engaging with the Commission. There have been no further complaints received about the charity.”

Care After Combat was founded by Davidson, as well as Simon Weston OBE and Goose Cryer MC, in 2014. In response to the letter, Caleigh Meadows, head of marketing and communications at the charity said: "Care after Combat regularly speak to MPs about the valuable programmes we run to prevent Veterans reoffending. David Davis is himself a Veteran and we believe he is one of many MPs who have taken an interest in our work."

David Davis had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

 

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