Regulator examines claims that far-right groups are running charity campaigns

The Charity Commission is looking into allegations by The Guardian that English and Polish right-wing extremist groups are requesting donations, possibly in contravention of the law

Charity Commission building
Charity Commission building

The Charity Commission is looking into allegations that far-right political groups from the UK and Poland are claiming to be running charity campaigns.

Its investigation comes after a story in The Guardian newspaper that claims two Polish far-right political organisations – Idz Pod Prad and National Rebirth of Poland – are running charity campaigns in the UK that request donations, potentially in contravention of charity rules.

The newspaper claimed that National Rebirth of Poland had worked with far-right organisation in the UK to help homeless people in a number of cities across the UK.

Idz Pod Prad was alleged by the newspaper to be working with Polish veterans in Stoke-on-Trent.

The Guardian also claimed that the north-east branch of the English Defence League’s women’s arm, EDL Angels, had been gathering donations for the local homeless community.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said that none of the organisations was legally defined as a charity.

"If an organisation claims to be a charity when it is not and solicits donations on that basis for charitable purposes, this would be a regulatory concern for the Charity Commission," the spokeswoman said.

"We will further assess the material provided on these organisations’ activities regarding outreach work with the homeless in order to determine whether this presents regulatory concerns and, if so, what regulatory action, if any, may need to be taken.

"These concerns highlight the importance of the public being able to identify genuine charities so that they can support them with confidence."

National Rebirth of Poland and the EDL did not respond to a request for comment before Third Sector’s deadline. Third Sector was unable to contact Idz Pod Prad for comment.

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