Charity Commission chair to give evidence on Cup Trust to committee of MPs

William Shawcross will appear at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee alongside David Green, director of the Serious Fraud Office

William Shawcross
William Shawcross

William Shawcross, chair of the Charity Commission, will appear in front of the Public Accounts Committee on 7 March to give evidence about charity tax-avoidance mechanism the Cup Trust, the commission has confirmed.

Shawcross will give evidence alongside David Green, director of the Serious Fraud Office, and Richard Alderman, former director of the SFO, as part of an investigation into the qualification of accounts and tax avoidance.

The Cup Trust raised £176m in charitable donations over two years and claimed £46m in Gift Aid, but gave only £55,000 to good causes, figures on the Charity Commission website showed. But the regulator said it was "legally structured as a charity" and that it was not able to take any action against it.

David Orbison, a former commission employee who resigned, claiming constructive dismissal, over the commission’s approach to regulation, has criticised the commission as "hopelessly equipped" to investigate tax avoidance.

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