Lord Avebury: "Ban serious criminals from trusteeship"

Lib Dem peer calls for rules to be tightened after charity chair found to have fire-arms convictions

A Liberal Democrat peer wants anyone convicted of a serious crime to be barred from being a charity trustee.

People are automatically barred only if they have been convicted of any offence involving dishonesty or deception, but Lord Avebury submitted a written question in the House of Lords last week calling on the Government to bar anyone convicted of any of the crimes listed in the Serious Crime Act 2007.

These include prostitution offences, blackmail, armed robbery, child sex offences, trafficking drugs, people or arms, and breaches of intellectual property or environmental laws.

Avebury told Third Sector he made the move after it was revealed that the chair of Green Crescent, currently being investigated by the Charity Commission for suspected links with Islamic terrorism in Bangladesh (Third Sector Online, 26 March), had previous firearms convictions.

Government spokesman Lord Patel of Bradford told him the Government had no plans to change the law. But Avebury said he hoped to meet ministers and lodge an early day motion or private member's bill before the summer recess.

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