Talking Points: Mike Read features in readers' reactions to stories

Views on: Donations from Ukip song, leaving legacies to charity and responses to trustee guidance

Mike Read
Mike Read

Ukip won't name charity that received song funds

The UK Independence Party will not reveal the name of the charity to which it donated money raised by the song Ukip Calypso after the British Red Cross refused to accept the donation.

Last year, the radio presenter Mike Read released the song, which includes lyrics sung by the Lancashire-born DJ in a mock Caribbean accent, with the intention of donating proceeds to the British Red Cross to help the fight against the Ebola outbreak. But within days of its release he asked his record company to withdraw the song from sale, and the BRC said it would not accept the money.

A Ukip spokesman said the party had since found a charity willing to take the money, but would not name it. "If we do, people are going to put that charity under a whole lot of pressure when actually it's going to a good cause," he said.

Commenting on, NPC said: "The idea that a charity can accept a donation like this but remain anonymous is very troubling. The money was originally raised on the promise that it would go towards fighting the Ebola outbreak - but no one will confirm whether or not this promise has been honoured. This is against the principles of transparency."

Elizabeth Balgobin said: "There is a school of thought that says it doesn't matter where the money comes from as long as you then turn it to good use. But the question of whether it has been used to address the Ebola crisis should be asked, because that was the original purpose. That should be possible without naming the charity."

Half of people intend to leave legacies to charity

Almost half of people intend to leave money to charity in their wills, according to research commissioned by the British Heart Foundation.

In an online poll of 2,000 UK adults carried out by the market research company OnePoll, respondents were asked how much money they planned to leave to charity in their wills. Offered a choice between leaving nothing or an amount greater than £1 to charity, 854 respondents (43 per cent) said they would leave more than £1.

Richard Radcliffe commented: "Forty-three per cent is not unusual; the biggest challenge is to get people from the intention stage to actually doing it. Only 7 per cent currently leave legacies, so this is a huge leap. These are wildly enthusiastic legacy prospects stuck in the mire of inaction."

Draft trustee guidance gets 'positive' response

The Charity Commission has said that feedback on its proposed redraft of its guidance The Essential Trustee (CC3) was "overwhelmingly positive", but has acknowledged concerns raised by umbrella bodies and others as it prepares a final version.

The main proposed change to CC3 was to modify the definition of something that trustees "should" do to mean that if trustees did not comply, it might constitute a breach of duty. It is currently less strongly defined, and the commission was concerned that some trustees were ignoring parts of the guidance.

Charles Kenyon commented: "The new CC3 reads like a prison sentence. It will put anyone off joining charities as a trustee. It has to include upbeat messages about the value to the beneficiaries, society and potential trustees. The draft guidance is very prescriptive and could pose no end of problems, especially to smaller charities."

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