2013 – 040 Comic Relief and most other Charities need thoroughly re-assessing.

Comic Relief cash invested in weapons and alcohol firms, investigation reveals

An investigation into Comic Relief has revealed it invests millions of its donations in weapons, tobacco and alcohol firms, as Save the Children are accused of restricting criticism of British Gas because of a lucrative partnership with the company

Worst of all the Labour Party under Gordon Brown inserted many of his Spads (Special Advisers) into positions of authority in many national charities. Such Chairman of Red Cross is also the chairman of @UKLabourNews and Justin Forsyth, a former New Labour adviser on £163,000 a year as chief executive of Save the Children
Brown also changed the Charity rules to allow them to be politicall active. Scroll down.
At least 25 are now actively political in favour of the Labour party. They should under Charity Rules lose their charitable status.
Save The Children gave more than £700,000 last year to advertising firm run by brother of the charity’s chief executive

Save The Children gave a total of £729,343 to the London-based Adam and Eve DDB communication’s agency, which is run by Jon Forsyth – the brother of Save The Children’s CEO Justin Forsyth

Oxfam’s perfect storm ad WAS party political: Watchdog reprimands charity over poster attacking Coalition’s austerity programme
Poster claimed high prices and benefit cuts were creating ‘perfect storm’
Tory MP accused Oxfam of using donated money for political means
Charity Commission said advert could be misconstrued as campaigning
By TAMARA COHEN, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL
PUBLISHED: 01:44, 20 December 2014 | UPDATED: 01:47, 20 December 2014

Their fund raising tactics by third party agents is almost bullying and intimidation.

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Oxfam was reprimanded by a watchdog yesterday over a poster campaign attacking the Coalition’s austerity programme.
Against a backdrop of dark clouds and stormy seas, the poster claimed the Government was creating a ‘perfect storm’ with zero-hours contracts, high prices, benefit cuts, unemployment and childcare costs.
It was posted on Twitter under the heading: ‘Lifting the lid on austerity Britain reveals a perfect storm – and it’s forcing more and more people into poverty’.
Bias: The Oxfam poster campaign, pictured above, claimed the Government was creating a ‘perfect storm’ with zero-hours contracts, high prices, benefit cuts, unemployment and childcare costs
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Bias: The Oxfam poster campaign, pictured above, claimed the Government was creating a ‘perfect storm’ with zero-hours contracts, high prices, benefit cuts, unemployment and childcare costs

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2881449/Oxfam-s-perfect-storm-ad-party-political-Watchdog-reprimands-charity-poster-attacking-Coalition-s-austerity-programme.html#ixzz3MPyZGWcm
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The BBC claims the Panorama show was never just about Comic Relief but looked at number of charities

Donations to Comic Relief have been invested in tobacco and alcohol companies   as well as a weapons firm, it has been revealed.

As Comic Relief gives money to charity often over a number of years it can hold millions of pounds at any one time, and uses managed funds which invests the money on the charity’s behalf.

But a probe has revealed some of these investments seem to go against the core mission of Comic Relief as the charity invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in shares in BAE Systems, a weapons company, and alcohol firm Diageo.

The investigation, by BBC Panorama found that Comic Relief made these investments between 2007 and   2009. This included £630,000 worth of shares in BAE systems and £3m in   tobacco companies.

Comic Relief’s mission statement says the charity is dedicated to helping people affected by conflict. It also helps fight tuberculosis, and gives money to Target Tuberculosis which believes smoking may be responsible for 20 per cent of the people with TB.

Helen Wildsmith, an ethical fund manager, told the programme: “If people   who’ve been giving them money, after watching the television, next year think twice and don’t give that money, because they’re concerned about their   investment policy, then that could be argued to be a breach of fiduciary duty.”

A spokesman for Comic Relief said: We put the money into large managed funds, as many other leading charities and pension funds do.

“On balance, we believe this is the approach that will deliver the greatest benefits to the most vulnerable people.”

The Panorama investigation also uncovered evidence that Save the Children restricted its criticism of energy companies and rising prices because of a lucrative partnership with British Gas.

Dominic Nutt, former head of news at the charity said he tried to campaign on the issue every year but was blocked. The charity ran a fuel poverty campaign in 2012 but claimed British Gas was doing the most to help poorer families. The charity made £1.5m out of their ten year partnership with the company.

Justin Forsyth, chief executive of Save the Children, said: “We would never decide not to campaign on something because of a corporate partnership.”
Half of Gordon Brown’s ‘spads’ work for charities lobbying Coalition, as Tories condemn ‘revolving door’
Exclusive: The Institute of Public Policy Research – once dubbed Tony Blair’s favouirite thinktank – is now being probed by the charity watchdog for its close links to the Labour party
Chris Grayling has denied there are problems with our prisons
Chris Grayling has denied there are problems with our prisons Photo: GEOFF PUGH FOR THE TELEGRAPH
Christopher Hope By Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent10:50PM BST 15 Aug 2014 Comments86 Comments
Half of Gordon Brown’s special advisers in the last Labour Government now work for charities or left of centre think tanks, many of which now spend their time lobbying the Coalition.
Figures show that 11 out of the 25 special advisers who worked directly for Mr Brown in 2009 now work for supposedly neutral thinktanks or charities many of which speak out against the Government or lobby ministers to change laws.
The Sunday Telegraph can disclose that one of those organisations – the Institute of Public Policy Research which was once dubbed Tony Blair’s favourite thinktank – is now being informally investigated by the charity watchdog for its close links to the Labour party.

There is increasing concern among Conservatives that charities and thinktanks are being used as vehicles for a pro-Labour agenda.
Tory MPs said they were evidence of a “revolving door” between Labour and charities. Chris Grayling, the Justice secretary, said he was concerned that supposedly neutral charities and thinktanks were being used to get Ed Miliband “into Downing Street”.
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The former Brown ‘spads’ include Justin Forsyth, chief executive of Save the Children UK and Gavin Kelly, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, while Nick Pearce, a director of the IPPR.
Save the Children campaigns on child poverty in Britain and spoke out in support of Oxfam’s campaign in June attacking the Government’s cuts to public spending, while Mr Kelly writes a blog which has regularly criticised Coalition policies.
The IPPR is now in discussions with the charity watchdog into its work with political parties after a Tory MP pointed to nine “co-ordinated events” with Labour, and pointed to a suggestion from Rachel Reeves, the shadow Work and Pensions secretary, that the IPPR was helping to develop Labour policy.
Charity law states that “a charity must not give support or funding to a political party, nor to a candidate or politician”.
A Charity Commission spokesman said: “We can confirm that we have a case open assessing concerns raised with us about the Institute for Public Policy Research in June regarding the charity’s approach to working with political parties.
“We have requested a range of information from the trustees [of the IPPR], who have responded in detail. We are currently assessing their response.”
The IPPR stressed that it held events with Conserative ministers and had “received correspondence” from the Commission.
A spokesman added: “We have not been commissioned by any political party and our work is freely available to members of all parties and the wider public.”
Earlier this year, the Family and Childcare Trust, a child care charity, was forced to tighten its rules on political campaigning by the same regulator.
Tory MP Rob Wilson complained that it had posted a series of Tweets with the hashtag ‘#childcarecrisis’, which has been used by Labour party.
The charity was cleared for breaking charity rules but its trustees had agreed to set up “an audit and risk committee to scrutinize campaigning and political activities”.
Six out of 50 of the UK’s biggest charities employ officers with links to Labour or the Liberal Democrats whose chief job is to lobby the Government.
Charlie Elphicke, a Conservative MP, said that the “revolving door” between Labour and charities had to stop.
He told The Sunday Telegraph: “There is clearly a revolving door between charities and the Labour Party. This is warping the independence of the third sector and needs to be addressed.”
Chris Heaton-Harris, another Tory MP, added: “People will stop giving if they think that their money is being used for political purposes. It is a challenge to the Charity Commission to ensure that does not happen.”
Writing in today’s Sunday Telegraph, Mr Grayling said: “An extraordinary number, moreover, are drawn from the ranks of the Labour Party. If you read through the CVs of its candidates in 2015, a substantial proportion have worked for pressure groups and as trade union campaigners.
“It’s now the career route of choice: they can use that platform to attack this Government and make their name, lining up alongside former special advisers, MPs and councillors to argue for more spending, or to spread scare stories that are often exaggerated or wholly untrue.”
He added: “Britain’s professional campaigners are growing in number: sending emails around the country, flocking around Westminster, dominating BBC programmes, and usually articulating a Left-wing vision which is neither affordable nor deliverable – and wholly at odds with the long-term economic plan this Government has worked so hard to put in place.”
Mr Grayling was particularly critical of “campaigns that hide behind a veneer of neutral non-partisanship”, singling out 38 degrees, which campaigns on a variety of issues through online petitions.
He said that 38 degrees was “an anti-Government pressure group” while the Howard League for Penal Reform was run by Frances Crook, “one of the most prominent Labour-supporting pressure group leaders”.
The claims were rejected by the two campaign groups. Miss Crook, from the Howard League, said: “We would be shirking our duty if we did not do that. Sometimes it is unpalatable to politicians and this is just tough.”
Blanche Jones, campaigns director at 38 Degrees, added: “Some politicians may not like being challenged by their voters more often than once every five years.
“But if we want a healthy democracy in this country, ordinary people need to be able to make their voices heard without being accused of political bias.”
The Charity Commission spokesman added: “Charities must never engage in party political activity and must always guard their independence.
“The Commission will assess any complaints we receive about charities that demonstrate political bias or support for a political party or politician.
Telegraph.

By Michael Seamark for MailOnline

Published: 23:24, 2 February 2014 | Updated: 23:24, 2 February 2014

Fresh demands to curb the salaries of fat cat charity bosses were made yesterday after it emerged that Save the Children is paying its top employee £234,000 a year.

The individual, believed to be chief executive Jasmine Whitbread, is among 20 employees earning more than £100,000 at the charity’s international body.

Another nine are on six-figure salaries at the charity’s UK arm.

Former City executive Miss Whitbread recently starred alongside actress Dame Helen Mirren and artist Tracey Emin in Marks & Spencer’s ‘Britain’s leading ladies’ fashion advert campaign.

That huge pay packet is considerably more than the £142,500 a year paid to David Cameron, whose wife Samantha is an ambassador for Save the Children.

But it is surpassed by the salary of the highest paid employee at Marie Stopes International, who earns more than £290,000 a year.

A second employee at the birth control charity is paid more than £200,000 and in total 11 people are on six-figure salaries. Charities are not required to detail by name how much their top executives are paid, and many express the sums in bands, disguising the true figures.

Neither Save the Children, which boasts of being ‘committed to being fully transparent to children, our donors, supporters and the public at large’, nor Marie Stopes will reveal the identities of their high-earners.

MPs condemned both the pay rates and the secrecy. Priti Patel, a member of the Commons public administration select committee, said: ‘Taxpayers and individual donors who bankroll these charities will be shocked to see the size of these colossal fat cat salaries.

‘They deserve to know how decisions are made about salaries and who is paid them. The culture of secrecy that exists in some charities must come to an end.’

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Charlie Elphicke MP said: ‘Think charity and you think volunteers rattling their collecting tins, vocation, compassion. You don’t think mega-salaries. It’s unacceptable and it has got to change. Charities should be open and transparent.’

Anger erupted last year after an investigation into Britain’s 14 leading foreign aid charities, which make up the Disasters Emergency Committee and receive hundreds of millions of pounds from taxpayers, revealed spiralling pay rates.

The number of executives receiving six-figure salaries had risen by nearly 60 per cent, from 19 to 30, between 2010 and 2012, despite a fall in donations and revenue at many of the organisations.

Among those identified was Justin Forsyth, a former New Labour adviser on £163,000 a year as chief executive of Save the Children UK – much less than Miss Whitbread’s assumed salary as chief executive of the charity’s umbrella body, Save the Children International.

Save the Children International refused to discuss its executives’ pay rates or identify the highest-paid employee – who, according to the charity’s 2012 accounts, received $386,893, a drop from $393,012 for the previous year.

All questions were referred to the charity’s 2012 annual report and accounts – which do not identify individuals against salary bands.

Miss Whitbread, 50, a glamorous mother of two who lives in Oxfordshire, became the first international chief executive of Save the Children in 2010, after heading Save the Children UK since 2005.

She used to be a high-flying executive for information giant Thomson Financial in the US. In 2008 she said she did not do her charity job for the money. ‘My salary (£128,000 in 2007) is less than my bonus was at Thomson,’ she said.

According to its most recent accounts, Marie Stopes International’s highest paid employee received between £290,001 and £300,000 in 2012. American Dana Hovig was its chief executive from 2007 until May 2013, when he left to join the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The charity said: ‘As a global social enterprise, we establish remuneration to attract the best talent from the global market. As part of our commitment to transparency, we publish list remuneration figures.

‘Out of respect for team members’ privacy we do not list individual salaries by name or position.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2550648/Fury-234-000-salary-boss-Save-Children-Charity-chiefs-huge-wages-reined-say-MPs.html#ixzz3XxJxgCcn
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