Tory MP reports Oxfam tweet to Charity Commission | Fundraising complaints rose by almost half in year to 2013 | Big Lottery Fund should reduce costs, says review

Plus: Charity Commission opens inquiries into Jehovah's Witnesses | PRFA to extend doorstep compliance programme nationwide | Prince's Trust to cut up to 100 jobs

Conor Burns MP made a complaint to the Charity Commission about an Oxfam tweet which contained this spoof film poster
Conor Burns MP made a complaint to the Charity Commission about an Oxfam tweet which contained this spoof film poster

Tory MP Conor Burns has made a complaint to the Charity Commission about a tweet sent by Oxfam which he said was "highly political". The tweet, which is now being investigated by the regulator, said government austerity was "forcing more and more people into poverty" and also contained a spoof film poster which criticised government policy.

The number of fundraising complaints rose by nearly half in the year to 2013, figures from the Fundraising Standards Board show. The FRSB’s Complaints Report 2014 also shows that the number of complaints relating to clothing collections almost tripled; however, the total number of fundraising contacts reported by FRSB members also increased by 51 per cent during that time.

The Big Lottery Fund must reduce costs and be more transparent, according to the Cabinet Office’s first triennial review of the grant-maker. Despite this, the review said the main functions of the BLF, such as the distribution of National Lottery funds and money from dormant bank accounts, "remain current and necessary".

The Charity Commission has opened statutory inquiries into the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and one of its congregations, amid concerns about safeguarding and whether trustees have complied with charity law. A spokesman for the Watch Tower Society said it would challenge the commission’s decision at the charity tribunal.

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association plans to extend its doorstep compliance programme nationwide this year. This follows on from the umbrella body's London-based doorstep compliance pilot, in which it observed door-to-door fundraising training and shadowed fundraising teams on the job between December and March.

The Prince’s Trust plans to cut between 50 and 100 jobs this summer in order to reduce administration costs. The charity, which had an income of £57.7m in the year to March 2013, said it spent £2.8m of its reserves last year and was making the cuts in an attempt to avoid having to dig into its reserves again.

This is a selection of the top stories: for the week's full output, click here.

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