Tag Archives: brooks newmark

Charity minister’s own volunteering ‘illegal under UK charity law’

Brooks Newmark and Project Umubano (inset)

The Tories’ charity minister was left red-faced this week after not only patronising the sector but showcasing his poor grip on his own brief. Brooks Newmark (should that be ‘no-mark’?) told a third sector conference:

“We really want to try and keep charities and voluntary groups out of the realms of politics. 99.9 per cent do exactly that. When they stray into the realm of politics that is not what they are about and that is not why people give them money. The important thing charities should be doing is sticking to their knitting and doing the best they can to promote their agenda, which should be about helping others.”

Oh, yeah? This is what the Charity Commission have to say:

Charity Commission on political activity Cue a ‘clarification':

The mis-firing intervention was the latest incident in a series of Tory attacks in the wake of the Lobby Act, Part 2 of which gags charities from speaking hard truths to power.

But that’s not all. No-mark is fond of burnishing his own ‘charity experience’. Guido Fawkes notes:

“Newmark is however making an important point and speaks from experience too, having himself set up his own charity in Rwanda.”

That would be ‘Conservative social action project’ Project Umubano, whose practice of apparently restricting non-Tories from volunteering with them would almost certainly be, errrr, illegal if it were actually a registered charity in the UK.

The initiative, which has sent Conservatives to volunteer in Rwanda and Sierra Leone — at least until visible activity ground to a halt two years ago — was one of a number set up as the party attempted to detoxify its brand.

The Conservative Party loves the charitable sector — provided it is serving their ends, of course.

Tory MP: “We have to thank the rich” as they “bear the biggest burden”

The Conservative Party hasn’t been left wanting for people going off message recently, and with elections looming tomorrow it’s unlikely CCHQ will thank one of their Essex MPs heaping praise on the richest in society as maligned martyrs to the national interest.

Brooks Newmark, a former whip and Treasury minister, told business news site London Loves Business:

“We have to thank the rich for the contribution they make to our country… My own perspective on the argument is the top 1% of the country are bearing the biggest burden.”

Newmark presumably means people himself — a former city banker, estimated to be worth some £3.2 million — when he complains about the burdens on the richest.

Doubtless his postbag will is bulging at the seams with ‘thank you’ messages.

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