subscribe to careers
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  Policy

UK Charity Commission Under Fire


Tuesday, 9th June 2015 at 11:39 am
Xavier Smerdon
The UK Charity Commission is facing legal action after an advocacy group accused it of exceeding its role and acting like “counter-terrorism police”.

Tuesday, 9th June 2015
at 11:39 am
Xavier Smerdon


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
UK Charity Commission Under Fire
Tuesday, 9th June 2015 at 11:39 am

The UK Charity Commission is facing legal action after an advocacy group accused it of exceeding its role and acting like “counter-terrorism police”.

Controversial advocacy organisation Cage, which describes its purpose as supporting communities impacted by the war on terror, said that the charity regulator was guilty of an “unlawful exercise of powers” and that it would launch judicial review proceedings against the Commission.  

Cage attracted controversy earlier this year when one of its directors, Asim Qureshi, described ISIS member Mohammed Emwazi, or “Jihadi John”, as a beautiful man.

The organisation also claimed that Emwazi had been radicalised by spy agency MI5.

Cage claims after the publicity received around Emwazi, the Charity Commission acted outside of its powers by exerting unlawful pressure on charities not to fund or associate with Cage, despite the organisation not being a charity itself.

Cage said as a result it was finding it difficult to fund its advocacy and charities had been deterred from sharing a platform with it.

Cage communications officer, Ibrahim Mohamoud, said the Charity Commission was becoming too powerful.

“This case is an important test case for the charity sector. At a time when the Commission is being given more powers, it is important that it does not deviate from its crucial role as an impartial regulator and become an instrument of state policy in a political agenda against unpopular causes,” Mohamoud said.

“Charities must be able to function with a regulator that does not create a climate of fear and undermine the fundamental freedoms of expression and association. In recent years, the Charity Commission appears to be assuming the role of Counter-Terrorism Police, rather than a charity sector regulator.”

One of the world’s best known philanthropic foundations, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, said that it had been pressured not to support Cage.

“The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust has previously funded Cage to promote and protect human rights. In December 2013, the Charity Commission opened an operational compliance case in respect of this funding relationship. We have cooperated fully with the Commission’s enquiries over an extended period,” the Trust said.

“Our last payment to Cage was in January 2014. In the last week, we have been put under intense regulatory pressure to rule out any future funding of Cage regardless of any future changing circumstances.

“In the light of regulatory pressure, and to protect the interests of all our grantees and the other work of the Trust, we have decided to publicly confirm that we will not fund Cage either now or in the future.”

A spokesperson for the UK Charity Commission told The Independent that it was aware of the legal action against it.

“We can confirm that the Commission is aware of this legal claim and that we are considering it carefully. We cannot comment further at this stage,” the spokesperson said.

Last week Pro Bono Australia News reported that independent Senator Nick Xenophon called for more funding for Australia’s charity regulator, the ACNC, so that it could play a greater role in fighting terrorism.


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.


Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

 Print

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

UK aspires to become global impact investing hub

Luke Michael

Friday, 14th June 2019 at 4:52 pm

‘My job is slowly killing me’: UK charity workers feeling the strain

Luke Michael

Friday, 24th May 2019 at 4:30 pm

Uncertainty reigns as UK disability minister is nowhere to be seen

Luke Michael

Friday, 29th March 2019 at 3:49 pm

POPULAR

Dealing with the trauma of youth homelessness

Luke Michael

Monday, 3rd June 2019 at 4:36 pm

Setting Aussie kids up for success

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 5th June 2019 at 4:13 pm

Familiar faces remain in Labor’s shadow ministry ‘refresh’

Luke Michael

Monday, 3rd June 2019 at 4:27 pm

Subscribe to News
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!