The Charity Commission has responded to a Harry’s Place reader who complained about the British Muslim Initiative-organised endorsement by various charities of Ken Livingstone’s candidacy:
Thank you for your e mail raising concerns about registered charities apparently supporting Ken Livingstone as a political candidate.
As you are aware, the endorsement by a charity of a political candidate is unacceptable because the candidate may espouse and promote views and policies which are not charitable.
We have received an e mail from The British Muslim Initiative who organised the statement of support and they have made it clear to us and on their website that the individuals who signed mentioning titles connecting them to charities, did this as private individuals rather than representing the charities’ views. They say the titles were included as a means of identifying the individuals although clearly this has caused confusion.
Of the organisations you referred to, we have identified those which we need to contact. We have provided advice to them regarding the guidelines about charities and political activities and re-iterated that it is not acceptable to support a political candidate. The East African Society, which claimed to be a charity, does not show on our records. We have therefore contacted them advising them of the minimum legal requirements for registration or if they are not charitable, to remove the word “charity” from any literature.
I hope this has clarified the position and thank you for bringing this matter to our attention
So, it has all ended well.
Ken has received an endorsement by a series of organisations and individuals who we now know are aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood/BMI.
The organisations have received advice on how not to break the law in the future.