War on Want says Sunday Telegraph story is ‘complete fabrication’

04 Apr 2016 News

War on Want has dismissed a story that appeared in the Sunday Telegraph as “a complete fabrication” and said that an accusation it has had its funding “pulled” by the government is “equally bogus”.

War on Want

War on Want has dismissed a story that appeared in the Sunday Telegraph as “a complete fabrication” and said that an accusation it has had its funding “pulled” by the government is “equally bogus”.

The Sunday Telegraph published a story yesterday, which said that the Department for International Development had “ceased funding” War on Want because it had “sponsored events accused of promoting hatred and violence against Jews”. The international poverty charity has denied these allegations however and claimed that it hasn’t applied for, or received, government funding for years.

The Telegraph article claims that War on Want has received “£260,000 in funding from DfiD over the last two years”. The charity’s executive director has dismissed this assertion entirely and has said that War on Want will be seeking corrections from the Telegraph.

In a statement released yesterday, John Hilary, executive director of War on Want, said: “The story in today's Telegraph is a complete fabrication. War on Want has not sought any UK government support for its operations for a number of years now, so it is absurd to suggest that we have had our funding 'pulled'.

“The insinuation that we have been criticised by the government for standing up for the rights of the Palestinian people is equally bogus. We will be contacting the Telegraph to help it set the record straight."

A spokesman for DfiD confirmed that the department had not funded the charity since 2015 and said that: "it is categorically not the case that funding was pulled". He also confirmed that the charity had not applied for government funding since 2012. 

The Sunday Telegraph Story

The article, entitled ‘Charity backing anti-Israel rallies has state cash pulled’ appeared in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph and said that the Department of International Development had pulled funding from War on Want, after it “helped pay for ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ in February this year”.

It cites a DfiD spokesman who “said last night that it has ceased funding War on Want, apart from a small project with a distinct branch of the charity in Northern Ireland”.

The Telegraph also said that it “obtained undercover recordings of events where anti-Semitism, demands for the destruction of Israel or naked support for terror were expressed,” some of these events were “sponsored by War on Want”.

The article also claims that the charity paid for travel and accommodation for a number of speakers at Israeli Apartheid Week, including “Sahar Francis, a Palestinian lawyer” and “Steven Salaita, an academic who used the event to attack Israel’s ‘tenuous colonial existence’”.

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