Having reported Oxfam to regulators for, erm, highlighting drivers of poverty in the UK, the Tories were again using the Charity Commission as a stick to beat opponents last week — by claiming that IPPR is too close to the Labour Party under charity law.
Dover MP Charlie Elphicke’s letter the Commission:
“The Charity Commission’s own guidance states that ‘in the political arena, a charity must stress its independence and ensure that any involvement it has with political parties is balanced. A charity must not give support or funding to a political party, nor to a candidate or politician.'”
While IPPR’s links with Labour are no secret, Scrapbook is looking forward to Elphicke’s letter about Conservative wonk shop Policy Exchange.
Registered charity number 1096300 was not only founded by Michael Gove but had David Cameron as the guest of honour at their Summer party (above) — where he recounted the “floor-sitting, pizza-eating early days of Policy Exchange history” before explicitly linked them to Tory policy formulation:
“You give us the intellectual fuel for our tank”
If that isn’t a big enough clue, let’s take a look at the trustees:
- Danny Finkelstein — former Tory candidate and graduate of CCHQ policy unit
- Richard Ehrman — former Tory SpAd and Telegraph leader writer
- Simon Wolfson — Tory donor and life peer, boss of Next fashion retailer
- Patience Wheatcroft — Tory life peer
- George Robinson — Tory donor, hedge fund boss and tax dodger
- Andrew Sells — Tory donor and extremely controversial quango boss
- Rachel Whetstone — political secretary to Michael Howard as leader, now at Google
- Robert Rosenkranz — US insurance and private equity magnate, Republicans donor
- Simon Brocklebank-Fowler — Tory donor via his financial comms firm
- Richard Briance — Tory donor and Rothschilds banker
- Theodore Agnew — Tory donor, private equity boss and Gove appointee to DfE board
- David Meller — Tory donor and another Gove appointee
- Edward Heathcoat-Amory — ex-Tory staffer, Mail hack, nephew of ex-Tory minister
- Robin Edwards — person of this name was donor to Portillo leadership campaign
- Virginia Fraser — journalist, widow of former Spectator editor
They won’t be thanking Elphicke if a tit-for-tat complaint emanates from the Labour backbenches.