PM-Linked Thinktank Criticized

The Birmingham Post (England), July 19, 2008 | Go to article overview

PM-Linked Thinktank Criticized


A think-tank with close links to Gordon Brown was found yesterday to have breached charity law by getting involved in party politics.

The Charity Commission voiced "concern" the Smith Institute had held events at 11 Downing Street, and ordered the organisation's trustees to bolster governance.

The report found the think-tank had been carrying out work "for the public benefit", and the majority of its output was not party political.

However, it highlighted "evidence of unchallenged party political comments being made at Institute events by politicians and also party political statements made by or on behalf of the Institute".

"The Commission concluded this, combined with the predominant involvement of Labour Party politicians in the Institute's activities, compromised the Institute's independence."

The Commission found there was "no evidence" Mr Brown, Chancellor during the period, had used the Institute to "further his political aspirations".

The report said it had been a "reasonable decision" for the charity to recruit Ed Balls as a senior research fellow after he resigned as Mr Brown's economic adviser in 2004. …

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