Third Sector featured in the pages of Private Eye last month after the satirical magazine picked up on our Twitter spat with charities minister Tracey Crouch.
Crouch had disputed a tweet in which we’d said we approached her for an interview about the Oxfam crisis but hadn’t heard back. "I think it’s important to point out that you haven’t actually asked for an interview," the minister for charities/sport/loneliness tweeted in reply.
After Third Sector posted a screen grab of the second of two requests sent to her press team, the minister tweeted: "My apologies then!"
Third Sector is still awaiting an interview date. In fact, it has been nine months since our first interview request. Apparently, the diary of the minister for charities/sport/loneliness is quite full. Who would have guessed?
Interim roles in charities tend to be rather drab affairs. You go in, try not to break anything and then disappear into the night once a permanent appointment is found.
It’s probably the sort of arrangement Matthew Sherrington, charity consultant and regular Third Sector columnist, had in mind when he took a temporary role a few months ago as head of communications at a charity near to his home. Except that charity turned out to be Oxfam.
Instead of just keeping things ticking over, Sherrington has found himself right at the heart of the biggest charity scandal in recent memory and had just about every "comms expert" picking over his and Oxfam’s every move.
Oxfam hasn’t got everything right, but we’d still like to award Sherrington and his Oxfam team Third Sector’s inaugural Tin Hat Award for valour in adversity.
We also look forward to Sherrington’s next column. We’re sure he has a few things he’d like to say.
You have to feel a tad sorry for Baroness Tina Stowell (right), the recently installed chair of the Charity Commission. Given her track record championing women’s rights and same-sex marriage, she probably thought she would be welcomed with open arms. Instead, the decision to appoint the former Conservative minister to lead the "independent" charity regulator has drawn venom not only from the sector, but also from members of her own party and the opposition.
But surely the Baroness deserves a chance? She has surrendered her party membership and vowed to forget that she was ever a Conservative. More to the point, we were worried that there would be no more interesting stories about the Charity Commission after William Shawcross stepped down. Former Tory Tina, we welcome your appointment.
News from Charity Towers, also known as the National Council for Voluntary Organisations’ offices in King’s Cross, London. Tenant and long-time sparring partner Acevo has moved out. Its five-year lease was up and it found a better deal near Fenchurch Street. All those bohemian types flocking to King’s Cross have driven up rental prices. The move won’t affect the close working relationship Acevo and the NCVO have enjoyed in recent years, we’re reliably informed. But it’s likely to put an end to any merger rumours – well, at least until another sector figure calls for them to join.