Locality asked Tory-linked think tank for help on successful contract bid

The Centre for Social Justice, founded by Iain Duncan Smith, declined to be a partner on the £15m community organiser programme

Iain Duncan Smith
Iain Duncan Smith

The charity Locality asked the think tank the Centre for Social Justice to be one of its partners when it was preparing its successful bid for the £15m government contract to run the community organisers programme.

The charity has issued a statement saying that it approached the think tank, which was set up by Iain Duncan Smith, the Conservative work and pensions secretary, but it declined to be involved.

Locality issued the statement because it had mistakenly included CSJ’s name on a list of partner organisations that would help deliver the community organisers programme, which will train 5,000 people to help communities develop projects in deprived areas in England.

The statement said: "In developing the bid, we approached CSJ but it chose not to be involved in any bids to government and no further discussions took place. Unfortunately, by error, its name was left on the longlist of partners.

"There is no other mention of CSJ in the bid, no advisory or delivery role proposed for them, and they were never mentioned at interview or in any discussions with other partners."

A Locality spokeswoman said she was unable to provide details of the help that was requested but that it was linked to "learning, policy development or training". It was unlikely that the charity had asked the CSJ to help it train the community organisers directly, she said.

A spokesman for the CSJ said it was not involved with the project.

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