Duncan Smith calls meeting to find out sector's problems

A group of charity chief executives are to meet Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith and the rest of the Shadow Cabinet in a 24-hour consultation session to help the party understand the needs of the sector.

The idea emerged from a question and answer session with Duncan Smith at the Acevo summer conference last week.

Ten chief executives from both large and small charities, spanning areas such as health and education will also attend the meeting.

Acevo's chief executive Stephen Bubb said that the meeting would be useful for chief executives to develop a dialogue with the Conservatives and to pursue their agenda on funding and leadership. "It's good to build up a practical relationship with the main opposition party,

he said.

In an address to the conference, Duncan Smith said that an evolving partnership with the voluntary sector was a major priority for the Conservative Party.

"Government has a role in supporting the voluntary sector and it should carry out that role actively, but it should not try to run your sector for you. It must give you the room to breathe and the space to work,

he said.

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