Sector 'will not regard new government as pro-charity' | Charities must form a vision independent of government, says Etherington | Charity Commission examines claims that Brethren campaigned for Tories

David Cameron and his wife Samantha
David Cameron and his wife Samantha

The perception of many in the voluntary sector is that a Conservative government will not be pro-charity, the training and support charity the Directory of Social Change has warned. Debra Allcock Tyler, chief executive of the DSC, said the election outcome was unexpected and it was crucial that charities continued to represent the needs of their beneficiaries to both the government and opposition parties.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, has called on the sector to form its own vision for voluntary action and not rely on government to do so. In an open letter issued on the day of the general election, Etherington also criticises the outgoing government’s enthusiasm for social investment as an "eager but ultimately glib search for novelty and quick fixes", which he says cannot be the answer to everything.

The Charity Commission is looking into claims that the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church has provided campaigning support for Conservative general election candidates and held prayers for a Conservative victory. The Times newspaper reported earlier this week that members of the Brethren, who do not vote, had been "leafleting for Conservative candidates in key marginal seats", including Chippenham in Wiltshire, Montgomeryshire and Yeovil in Somerset, and had said prayers for the party’s success.

Samaritans has announced that Ruth Sutherland, head of the relationship support charity Relate, will take over in August as its next chief executive. She will replace Catherine Johnstone, who announced her intention to leave the suicide-prevention charity in January, having been in post for more than six years.

A new survey has found that just less than half of those surveyed thought charity chief executives should be paid, with about a quarter believing they should not and the rest unsure. A nationally representative poll of 1,000 people carried out by the consultancy nfpSynergy in January found that 48 per cent of respondents thought charity chiefs should probably or definitely be paid, while 26 per cent said they should probably or definitely not be paid, with the rest not sure.

The RNLI will receive the proceeds from the sale of two Ferrari sports cars worth an estimated £8m from a supporter who left the cars to the lifeboat charity in his will. The vehicles, a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB and a 275 GTB/4 from 1967, will be auctioned at the Imperial War Museum Duxford in Cambridgeshire in October, when they are expected to raise £6m and £2m respectively.

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