National Trust faces questions in review of electoral system

The National Trust is likely to face increased pressure to become more democratic with the publication of an independent review of the charity's governance today.

The 18-month review, chaired by Lord Blakenham, will issue recommendations on the trust's electoral system and on improving communications with members.

The trust's leadership has been criticised for using an unfair voting system which allows members to assign proxy votes for the annual general meeting to the chairman, Charles Nunneley, thereby handing him a block vote.

The election of celebrity chef Clarissa Dickson Wright and Conservative MP Nicholas Soames to the ruling council last year, at which Nunneley had 100,000 proxy votes, sparked allegations that the trust had become a self-perpetuating oligarchy.

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