Finance News: Conservatives hint at opposition over ethical statements

Conservative spokeswoman on civil society, Jacqui Lait MP, has signalled her party's opposition to the Government's plan to force charities to state their stance on ethical investment.

Speaking at the Merrill Lynch Charity Investment Conference, Lait said that the requirement, part of the Draft Charities Bill, which is expected to be included in November's Queen's Speech, was intervening in a matter that should be left solely to trustees.

"If a charity wishes to state their ethical investment stance, that is their choice," she said. "But it is not for Government to dictate what that is." She added that she was "extremely worried" by the Government's plans to allow charities to pay trustees.

She said it was appropriate for the provision of services such as accountancy, but if the proposal becomes law "all of a sudden you will have trustee boards filled with people who have an ulterior motive and who may want to see the charity go in a direction different to that of the charity's founding fathers".

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