Charity Commission to meet representatives of Tony Blair charity for a 'general discussion'

But the regulator says there are no regulatory concerns to address, despite a critical story about the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in The Mail on Sunday last month

Tony Blair
Tony Blair

The Charity Commission plans to meet representatives of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation for a "general discussion" after concerns were raised in the media – but it believes there are no regulatory issues to address.

The regulator said last month that it was assessing concerns raised about the charity in a newspaper article by a former employee of the charity.

A piece in the The Mail on Sunday newspaper by Martin Bright, the charity’s former website editor, said that Blair should not as a patron have any executive role in the organisation, but still exerted substantial influence over its operation, and used part of the charity as a personal think tank.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said in a statement today: "I can confirm that we contacted the charity following media reports. It fully cooperated in providing us with further information. We do not think there are any regulatory issues for us to take forward arising from the media reports, but we are to meet with the charity in the autumn for a general discussion."

The spokeswoman was unable to confirm whether Blair would attend the meeting and would not provide any further details on the information provided by the charity.

She said, however, that an operational case report providing full details about its involvement would be published at a later date.

A spokesman for the foundation said: "The article in The Mail on Sunday is in no way a fair reflection of the work of the foundation. We are very sad that a former colleague has chosen to approach this in this way and not focus on the important work the foundation does and the important issues we work within."

The foundation spokesman said the original article was inaccurate, noting that the organisation had 29 employees, not the 130 mentioned in the story.

The foundation, which had an income of £1.6m in the year to 30 April 2013, was set up in 2008 to provide "the practical support required to help prevent religious prejudice, conflict and extremism", according to its charitable objects.

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