Regulator has 37 active cases on Syria charities | BeatBullying 'dealt with staff horrifically' | St Mungo's strike called off

Plus: Government will donate VAT from memorial poppies | Charity Commission opens inquiry into Revelation TV | Trading arms 'cannot make Gift-Aided donations from reserves to parent charities'

William Shawcross
William Shawcross

The Charity Commission has 37 active cases regarding charities operating in Syria, according to the regulator’s chair - an increase from 10 in February. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, William Shawcross said it was often difficult to ensure that money sent to war zones did not end up in the wrong hands.

The anti-bullying charity BeatBullying, which has closed, "dealt with staff horrifically" over financial difficulties and redundancies, according to a former employee. The informant, who asked to remain anonymous, also questioned whether it was morally right for the charity to appoint 14 new staff members in 2014 despite making a number of layoffs in 2013 and reporting a financial loss in 2012.

A planned 10-day strike by staff at the homelessness charity St Mungo’s Broadway has been called off after a last-minute agreement was reached between the union Unite and the charity’s management. A statement from the union said that "99.9 per cent" of demands were met, with St Mungo’s reversing its decision to change pay, terms and conditions for front-line workers.

 The government has announced that it will donate VAT raised from the sale of the First World War memorial poppies currently displayed at the Tower of London. Six military charities will benefit from the donation, as well as from the  sale of the 888,246 ceramic poppies that make up the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red memorial.

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the religious television channel Revelation TV. The regulator will examine concerns relating to trustee benefits, conflicts of interest and a "potential significant loss of charitable funds".

The commission will update its guidance to reflect the fact that trading arms such as charity shops cannot make Gift-Aided donations from their reserves to their parent charities. This follows legal advice sought by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, which confirmed that claiming Gift Aid on such a payment, as described in Section D5 of the commission guidance Trustees Trading and Tax: how charities may lawfully trade (CC35), was unlawful.

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