Charity Commission chair with links to Tory Party warns charities to stay out of politics

Orlando Fraser once stood as a Tory party candidate and is a founding fellow of the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a right-wing think tank.

Orlando Fraser

The Chair of the Charity Commission has warned charities to stay out of politics, after many launched a scathing attack on the unworkable and inhumane plan to send migrants to Rwanda.

Orlando Fraser, who once stood as a Tory party candidate and who is a founding fellow of the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a right-wing think tank, said charities had to remember that they “are not political parties”.

He said: “Charities must remain driven in everything they do for their purposes. Not the personal views or instincts of their leaders.”

Fraser made the comments in an unreported speech to the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations’ (ACEVO) Festival of Leadership on March 22.

His comments were welcomed by Tories, including by Tory MP David Jones, a former minister who sits on the public administration and constitutional affairs committee.

He told The Telegraph: “This is excellent news – a much-needed dose of common sense from Orlando Fraser.

“He has articulated what I have thought, that activists in charities abuse their position to push Left-wing political agendas.”

Of course, Jones is totally fine with charities such as the climate sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), which was chaired by the former Tory Chancellor Nigel Lawson and which has previously been found to have breached rules on impartiality by the Charity Commission.

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), another charity, often associated with the right and which was behind many of the ideas contained in Liz Truss’ disastrous mini-budget which caused financial turmoil, has also published climate change denial material and pushed for privatisation. Tory MPs don’t seem to mind the IEA as a charity either.

They do however take issue with charities criticising the government over its inhumane and unworkable plan to send migrants to Rwanda, which even the UN has condemned and which even the Tory Home Secretary Suella Braverman admits may well break international law.

Fraser also said during his speech: “Charities often speak on behalf of those who otherwise would have no voice. That has always been the case and will always remain so.”

When criticising the government’s migration policies, charities are doing exactly that, given that vulnerable asylum seekers are being sent to a country with a poor human rights record.

It also emerged last year that the government signed the deal to send refugees to Rwanda, despite the UK raising concerns about Rwanda’s failure to investigate human rights abuses just 10 months earlier.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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