Panorama's investigation of charities, latest on the lobbying bill, and the verdict on a RSPCA badger ad

Plus: Further cuts to the Charity Commission budget, a boost for social investment tax relief and the charitable credentials of the Church of Scientology

BBC Panorama
BBC Panorama

- Amnesty International, Save the Children and Comic Relief came under fire in a Panorama documentary on Monday. Amnesty was criticised for payouts to its former chief executive and a failed fundraising event, Save for allegedly suppressing criticism of corporate partners and Comic Relief for holding investments in arms and tobacco. Comic Relief announced it would review its policies.

- The Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement, a coalition of charities, campaign groups and academics, called for amendments to the lobbying bill, which returns to the House of Lords on Monday 16 December. Its main concern was the proposed thresholds and spending limits for so-called "third party campaigners", including charities, in the run-up to elections.

- The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that an advert by the RSPCA about the cull of badgers was misleading and should not be repeated.

- The Chancellor announced in the Autumn Statement that the Charity Commission is to take further cuts of £450,000 to its budget in the next two years. The watchdog called the decision "disappointing."

- The government has relaxed the qualifications for tax relief on social investment, which it intends to introduce in next year's finance act. Investments in social impact bonds will be included.

- The Charity Commission's latest report on abuse and mismanagement reveals that it has conducted investigations into 13 charities with similarities to the tax avoidance vehicle the Cup Trust.

- A survey by nfpSynergy found that 62 per cent of respondents said that one of their reasons for not giving to charity was their belief that not enough of the money actually went to the cause.

- The Church of Scientology has said it wants to be treated like other religions following a Supreme Court decision that marriages can be solemnised in its chapels. Most religions are charities but the Charity Commission ruled in 1999 that scientology could not be a charity on the grounds it was not a religion and did not provide public benefit.

- The Big Give Christmas Challenge has raised more than £10.5m for 387 charities.

- The government has launched a consultation on the process of converting English Heritage into a charity.

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