The Charity Commission has opened statutory inquiries into two charities after concerns that they were promoting extremism came to light in an undercover documentary. The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK came to the commission’s attention as a result of ITV’s Exposure documentary, which was entitledCharities Behaving Badly, while the regulator had already opened a case into the Global Aid Trust after being contacted by the programme’s producers prior to broadcast.
Two TV advertisements connected with charities were among the 10 most complained-about adverts in 2014, new figures from the advertising watchdog show. The Christmas advert from the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, run in association with the Royal British Legion, received the fourth highest number of complaints, while a Save the Children advert, featuring a woman giving birth and in which the baby initially appears to have died, was in fifth place.
The Charity Commission says it has found no evidence that the former Prime Minister Tony Blair improperly interferes in the affairs of a charity bearing his name, and of which he is patron. An operational compliance case was opened into the charity in August, after an article in The Mail on Sunday by a former staff member of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation alleged that Blair exerted substantial influence over its operation and used part of it as a personal think tank.
The Made in Chelsea celebrity who was paid £3,000 for fronting a campaign to promote Barnardo’s charity shops has said she will waive her fee after critics voiced their disapproval on social media. The charity had initially defended its decision to pay Binky Felstead the fee, which a spokeswoman said was a way of "testing the impact of a popular celebrity in order to appeal to a new, wider audience".
Volunteering campaigners have criticised David Cameron’s pledge to force young people who are not in work, education or training to do unpaid community work in exchange for benefits if the Conservative party wins the next election. The campaign group Keep Volunteering Voluntary, which is made up of more than 500 member organisations, including Oxfam, Christian Aid and the YMCA, said the proposal was a punishment for benefit claimants.
HM Revenue & Customs has launched a new online service that allows charities to register themselves for tax purposes. Charities will no longer be able to register using the paper form, called ChA1, although any forms that have been submitted but have yet to be processed will be considered by HMRC.
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