Comic Relief to review its investment policy after criticism over arms, alcohol and tobacco links

Kevin Cahill, its chief executive, says the Charity Commission had confirmed that the policy was 'acceptable', but the charity would seek more clarity on the matter

Kevin Cahill
Kevin Cahill

Comic Relief will review its investment policy in the light of criticism over its decision to invest money in arms, alcohol and tobacco, its chief executive has promised.

Kevin Cahill was speaking on the BBC Radio 4 World at One programme after a Panorama investigation found that between 2007 and 2009, the charity had about £4m invested in such stocks.

In the Panorama programme broadcast last night, ordinary supporters of the charity said its investment policy was "disgusting" and called for it to change its strategy.

Cahill admitted that the charity still had up to 5 per cent of its assets in "any of those particular areas".

The charity currently has an investment portfolio of £155m, which would suggest that up to £23m could currently be invested in alcohol, arms and tobacco.

Cahill said Comic Relief had a letter from the Charity Commission confirming that its investment policy was acceptable, but suggested he would "seek more clarity" from the commission about how Comic Relief should manage its resources.

"The most important thing for us is to keep the trust and faith of the public," Cahill told World at One. "We will do a full review of our policy. It’s important for us that the public stick with us."

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