Government makes Only Connect founder its civil society tsar

Danny Kruger, a former speechwriter for David Cameron, has most recently been working for the controversial think tank the Legatum Institute Foundation

Danny Kruger
Danny Kruger

This story has been updated; see final paragraph

The government has appointed Danny Kruger, founder of the criminal justice charity Only Connect and a former speechwriter for David Cameron, as its new civil society tsar.

Kruger, who was chief executive of Only Connect from 2008 until it merged into Catch22 in 2015, has been working as a senior fellow at the think tank the Legatum Institute Foundation.

Kruger's official title will be expert adviser for civil society at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, where he will work alongside the culture secretary Matt Hancock and the charities minister Tracey Crouch.

He joined the foundation, which has been under fire for allegedly close links to pro-Brexit Conservatives, in January last year.

The Charity Commission said in December that it had been engaging with trustees at the foundation after concerns were raised about the charity's political agenda.

Media reports claimed the charity was influential among Brexit supporters, but the charity said it did not take a position in the run-up to the referendum in 2016.

A commission spokeswoman said the regulator was unable to provide an update on the case because its engagement with the charity was ongoing.

Kruger, who was a speechwriter for Cameron between 2006 and 2008, when the former Prime Minister was leader of the opposition, yesterday told his almost-3,000 followers on Twitter he was delighted to be joining the DCMS, adding: "Brexit Schmexit: this is where the action is. Looking forward to getting stuck in."

Philippa Stroud, chief executive of the foundation and a Conservative peer, said Kruger was a "passionate advocate of creating more just, integrated and connected communities, and we wish him all the best in helping shape the government's civil society agenda".

The DCMS was unable to confirm before publication of this story how much Kruger would be paid for carrying out the role.

The original story said that the Charity Commission was unable to provide an update on the Legatum case but it has since provided a statement.


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