CAF Conference News: Queen's Speech to cover Charities Bill, Lait tells delegates

The Charities Bill will be included in next week's Queen's Speech, Conservative MP Jacqui Lait told the conference.

The voluntary sector has been holding its breath since the draft Bill was published in May over whether Tuesday's speech would include a Charities Bill.

"Our understanding is it's going to be in the Queen's Speech," said Lait, the Tory spokeswoman on civil society.

"We recognise the need to bring law on charity up to date. However, we are concerned that there are parts of the Bill that will need a lot of clarification."

She said the hotly debated public benefit test contained in the Bill "could end up a lawyer's paradise".

Charity Commission chair Geraldine Peacock hinted that it could be left to charities to resolve the question of whether they provided a public benefit.

"I see the role of the Charity Commission as facilitating the debate about what public benefit should be," she said.

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