Charity tribunal to rule on Full Fact case

Charity Commission refused to register the fact-verification organisation as a charity

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

The charity tribunal will rule on whether the Charity Commission was right in refusing to register Full Fact, an organisation that checks the accuracy of statements made by politicians and journalists.

The case, scheduled to begin on 1 June, will be determined by written submissions rather than at an oral hearing.

Full Fact applied for charitable status in August 2009, saying that its charitable objects were the promotion of citizenship and education. The commission refused the application in December 2010.

Full Fact’s work includes publishing reports about the accuracy of public statements. It has recently published reports on the alternative vote referendum and the link between university tuition fees and social mobility.

Its director, Will Moy, told Third Sector: "I’m glad a date has been set for our hearing because it has been almost two years since we first applied to be a charity. Our work will be easier when we have some clarity about where we stand.

"The outcome of this case could have serious implications for think tanks that are registered charities or are trying to become charities."

Moy said the commission had told Full Fact its work was capable, in theory, of being charitable, but it did not believe that in practice the organisation could guarantee a level of scrutiny of its work that would ensure it was adhering to its charitable objects.

A spokeswoman for the commission said: "We are currently in the process of preparing papers in readiness for the hearing."

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