Charity Commission Petition - Good Law Project

Don't muzzle charities

Nadine Dorries

To: Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

We write to ask you to ensure the appointment process for a new Chair of the Charity Commission is not politicised. 

Earlier this month, your predecessor Oliver Dowden MP announced his intention to crack down on charities in a Telegraph opinion piece

Talking about the hiring process for the new Chair of the Charity Commission, Mr Dowden complained about “a worrying trend in some charities that appear to have been hijacked by a vocal minority seeking to burnish their woke credentials”. He said the new Chair will be chosen based on their ability to “rebalance” charities away from that agenda - and Ministers will only hire someone who convinces them they will do this. 

Charities exist for the important purpose of serving the public good, a fixed test set out in statute, which differs from the political agenda of the Government of the day. Reflecting this reality, legislation is explicit that it should not be influenced by the Secretary of State. 

We believe Mr Dowden’s comments showed his ambition to direct and control the work of the Charity Commission to achieve political ends.

Will you help us show Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries that we won’t allow the UK’s hard-working charities to be muzzled by Government? 

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Signed:

Jo Maugham, Executive Director, Good Law Project

Polly Neate, Chief Executive, Shelter

John Sauven, Executive Director, Greenpeace

Deborah Coles, Director, INQUEST

Andrew Hind, Chief Executive, Charity Commission, 2004-10

Sarah Mann, Director, Friends, Families and Travellers

Stephanie Draper, Chief Executive, Bond

Gracie Bradley, Interim Director, Liberty

Adeela Warley, CEO, CharityComms

Kate Agha, CEO, Oxford Against Cutting

Alex Jacobs, Director, Joffe Charitable Trust

Debra Allcock Tyler, CEO, Directory of Social Change

Tom Brake, Director, Unlock Democracy

Paul Parker, Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain

Sue Tibballs, CEO, Sheila McKechnie Foundation

Janet Thorne, CEO, Reach Volunteering

Benedict Southworth, Chair, Friends of the Earth Charitable Trust

Martin Drewry, CEO, Health Poverty Action

Daniel Gorman, Director, English PEN

Garry Jones, Chief Executive, Support Staffordshire

Gus Alston, CEO, Stonegrove Community Trust

Dominic Pinkney, CEO, Volunteer Centre Camden and Hammersmith & Fulham Volunteer Centre

Nicole Furre, Director, Covent Garden Dragon Hall Trust, Covent Garden Social and Crafts Centre Association, The Phoenix Garden, Camden Community Centres' Consortium

Tim Naor Hilton, Chief Executive, Refugee Action