Think tank withdraws support from 'pro-Labour' conference

Not-for-profit think tank the Bevan Foundation has pulled out of backing a conference at the eleventh hour because it was concerned that it would appear to be supporting the Labour Party.

The Wales-based Bevan Foundation withdrew its backing for the Winning Economically, Winning Politically conference, due to take place in Neath today, because the content of some of the sessions "appeared to be too pro-Labour".

Victoria Winckler, director of the foundation, said she was concerned that being involved in the conference could affect the organisation's charitable status.

"We do not want there to be any question about our independence," she said. "The way the conference was presented, it looked party political so we had no choice but to pull out."

Winckler said the think tank, which has only two staff, pulled out at such short notice because it had only just become aware of the content of the sessions.

The chair and director of think tank the Smith Institute both resigned in August after a Charity Commission inquiry criticised its trustees for not doing enough to protect it from claims that it was party political.

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