Public benefit: Charity Commission suffers media onslaught

Regulator considers responding to press coverage

The Charity Commission says it is considering how it should respond to a number of vitriolic articles in national newspapers accusing it of political bias.

The accusations came after it concluded that two out of the five private charitable schools it assessed did not deliver sufficient public benefit.

Articles in The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph and on The Guardian's Comment is Free website accused the commission in general, and chair Dame Suzi Leather in particular, of acting at the behest of the Labour Party.

Leather played a full part in the decisions on schools after the payment in April of the final instalment of fees due to the private charitable school that her youngest child attended.

Simon Heffer, a Daily Telegraph columnist, called Leather a "shocking woman" and condemned "the dirty work the Charity Commission is doing on behalf of the socialist project in seeking to destroy private education".

A spokeswoman for the commission said the regulator always stressed its political independence and would consider responding to some of the negative articles.

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