MPs launch ‘rule-breaking’ complaint against Institute of Economic Affairs | Good Law Project

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng: if their mini-budget was based on advice from the IEA, then that organisation has been involved in political campaigning, contrary to Charity Commission rules.

This is well-deserved, it seems. Charities must not be involved in political campaigning, or linked with political offshoot organisations. One wonders what the “educational research” entails:

The “extremist” charity the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has been called out for repeated rule breaking, after a cross-party group of MPs and a charity OBE made a formal complaint to the Charity Commission.

Layla Moran MP from the Liberal Democrats called for the commission to act with “utmost urgency”.

“One charity promoting extremist views and acting outside the rules is a blight on the whole sector,” Moran said.

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Along with Moran, Alyn Smith MP from the Scottish National Party, Clive Lewis MP from the Labour Party and Siân Berry AM – parliamentary candidate from the Green Party have joined a former member of the commission’s own board, Dr. Andrew Purkis OBE, to argue that the IEA falls foul of regulations around political campaigning, educational research and inappropriate links with openly political offshoot organisations.

Despite clear guidance from the commission that a charity’s purpose should not be political, the IEA was widely seen as the inspiration for Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini budget. According to political commentator Tim Montgomerie, the disastrous September 2022 mini budget was a “massive moment for the IEA” who had been advocating the policies for years.

Charity rules also state research must avoid presenting “biased and selective information in support of a preconceived point of view”. The IEA promotes extreme views such as there being “no sensible scientific objection” to increasing drilling in the North Sea, that healthcare in the UK should be insurance-based and that regulation on disposable vapes should be removed. It has so far refused to admit who pays for its work, but investigations have revealed some of its funding comes from the gas, oil and tobacco industries.

Commission guidance also states that charities must not “fund or support non-charitable purposes”, yet the IEA backs offshoots such as such as the IEA Forum and 1828 that aim to promote a “free market message”.

It’s a scandal that an organisation which pushes an extreme political agenda and seems so plainly in breach of charity regulations should continue to benefit from the tax advantages charitable status affords.

The Charity Commission, whose job it is to regulate charities and ensure that they comply with charity law, has received repeated complaints about the IEA over the last decade. But so far it has failed to act.

This will be a valuable test case.

Who next? The Campaign Against Antisemitism, perhaps?

Source: MPs launch complaint against Institute of Economic Affairs – Good Law Project

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  1. El Dee March 14, 2024 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    The downside of this very reasonable complaint is that by making it we accept that no charity can campaign on any matter deemed political. Whether it is to campaign for change politically and publicise that in the way that many charities did and are now prevented from or any extended version of the rules that this complaint may result in.

    If the Tories were intelligent they’d have done this deliberately. That sounds very ‘tin hat’ and from personal experience of working with politicians I don’t believe it. They’re not smart enough and don’t think that far ahead..

  2. Martyn Meacham March 14, 2024 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    It is way past time that Parliament had a clear out of all the crooked, lying, thieving, corrupt, scumbags in both houses of Parliament…otherwise Parliament must be shut down, and the ‘union’ separated.

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