Regulator contacts charity alleged to have handed donated goods to Labour councillor

The Charity Commission has asked Food for All to comment on reports that it gave goods donated by the cosmetics company Lush to Thanet councillor Karen Constantine, which were subsequently sold for £500

The Charity Commission has contacted a north London-based homelessness charity after allegations were made that it passed on donated goods to a district councillor in Thanet, Kent.

It was alleged that the charity Food for All gave goods donated to it by the cosmetics company Lush to Labour's Karen Constantine, which were then sold for about £500. Under charity law, charities cannot support or oppose a political party or candidate.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said today: "Concerns have been raised with the commission about the charity Food for All regarding the use of a donation. We have contacted the trustees in order to assess whether there is a regulatory role for the commission. No formal inquiry has, at this point, been opened."

In a video posted on a Facebook page for Constantine, Jennie Matthias, a supporter of Food for All and former lead singer of the 1980s pop group The Belle Stars, said the Lush products would be donated to the Labour Party.

In the video, Matthias said: "We were fortunate to be given by Lush thousands and thousands and thousands of pounds worth of Lush [goods], and what we do is we give out to charities or good causes. And today is one of the good causes, one of the good causes that I really stand for as well, which happens to be the Labour Party.

"We hopefully can raise some funds for the cause."

A Facebook post by Constantine showed pictures of boxes in a car, and pictures posed next to a van with Food for All’s name on the side of it.

Further Facebook posts by Constantine said that the Lush products were sold at The Churchill Tavern in Ramsgate, Kent, on 18 February, with all proceeds going to the local Labour Party.

A Facebook post by Constantine to Matthias said that more than £500 had been raised from the sale of the Lush products.

Neither Food for All nor Constantine responded to requests for comment before publication of this story.

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