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U.K. Charity Criticized Over Links to Gordon Brown

By Robert Hutton and Gonzalo Vina

July 18 (Bloomberg) — Britain’s charity regulator criticized the Smith Institute over its links with Gordon Brown and his Labour Party, saying it failed to maintain the political neutrality required for its tax-exempt status.

The Charity Commission also said Brown failed to answer its questions about his relationship with the institute, which is run by a university friend of his, Wilf Stevenson. Smith trustees include Murray Elder, a childhood friend of Brown, and three men who helped fund his bid to become prime minister.

“It is shocking that Brown refused to respond to any correspondence from the Charity Commission during their inquiry,” said Greg Clark, a lawmaker for the Conservative opposition who speaks on charities. “The Smith Institute did act in a party political way that was wholly inappropriate.” [more]

Smith Institute Criticised for Being ‘Too Party Political’ The Guardian

David Hencke, Westminster correspondent

The trustees of the Smith Institute were criticised by the Charity Commission yesterday for allowing it “to become exposed to concerns it had supported government policy and was involved in party political activity inappropriate for a charity”. [more]

Smith Institute ‘Breached Law’ Sky News

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

Think-Tank Warned About Balance BBC

[more]

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