How Friends of the Earth Dodge Charity Regulations

friends

When members of the public donate to Friends of the Earth, they think they are giving money to a charity, not a limited company. Their leaflets neglect to mention that donations actually go to Friends of the Earth Limited, the political wing of the organisation, instead of the charitable trust. Why the distinction?

By directing donations to a limited company, FoE avoid being regulated by the Charities Commission. This means that if they distribute leaflets with false claims – such as the above porkie claiming the silica used in fracking fluid is carcinogenic – they escape censure. If the donations went to the charitable wing of FoE, the leaflet would breach regulations on charities fundraising by deception.

The Charities Commission admit this is confusing for the public and will look at their rules to address it:

“The structure of Friends of the Earth is not unique and other organisations work in this way with both a charity and a non-charitable campaigning body. We realise that this can cause confusion to the public and could pose a reputational risk to charity and we therefore propose to look further at this issue. Aside from this, we have no jurisdiction over Friends of the Earth Limited as a non- charitable body, but we have established that charitable funds are not being used to campaign against fracking and your Company.”

A nifty little loophole for charities to avoid regulation…

Corbyn Aide: I Think We Should Shoot Woodcock

Gavin Sibthorpe, above left, works in Jeremy Corbyn’s office as the Labour leader’s events officer. He is a relatively senior figure in the Labour leadership, and was named alongside Simon Fletcher and Andrew Fisher in the New Statesman’s Who’s Who of Corbyn’s team. Judging by his Instagram account, Sibthorpe will fit right in.

Under a screenshot of an email sent by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Shooting and Conservation last week, titled “Woodcock, to shoot or not to shoot?”, Sibthorpe (sibby_gav) couldn’t resist writing: “I think we should shoot”. Has this Corbyn aide taken up rural sports? Or could he possibly be talking about troublesome Labour moderate John Woodcock?

Geddit?

Guido is told this email has been widely circulated among Labour lefties making similar gags about their own MP. Best do it in private, comrades…

UPDATE: Woodcock responds:

IPSA Launch Danczuk Probe

The expenses watchdog IPSA say in a statement:

“The Compliance Officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has opened an investigation to determine whether Mr Simon Danczuk MP has been paid an amount under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’) that should not have been allowed. An investigation will be conducted into claims submitted under the following areas of the Scheme: Accommodation.

In accordance with the legislation and the procedures for investigation made thereunder, no further information will be published until the investigation has been concluded.”

Usually IPSA try to cover up the specific allegations against MPs. Though there are so many people out to get Danczuk – in his own party and in the local LibDems – that the accusations have already been aired very publicly

Another Twitter Exclusive

Guido noticed this tweet on EyeSpy.MP Friday and failed to follow it up because he was stuck at an airport. You snooze, you lose:

st-pauls

A tweet on EyeSpy.MP on Friday, an exclusive in Mail on Sunday…

Tequila Scammers: Lansman’s Late Night Secret Election

Momentum is supposedly a grassroots organisation run by the people, for the people. So how do they elect their national representatives? Meet Frankie Leach, a 19 year-old International Politics student at Manchester Met. Frankie is also a Momentum activist who spent Saturday night boozing with the group’s boss Jon Lansman.

She tweeted at 1:06 a.m.
tweet 1With picture evidence (that’s Lansman on the right):

tweet 2

3 minutes later at 1:09 a.m., congratulations were in order:
tweet 3

Guido has no idea what happened in those three minutes, but lefty sources claim Lansman went from a tequila slammer to a sham of an election. Just what did the 58 year old silver fox, who appears to drink cider and black, see in Frankie?

Rich’s Monday Morning View

challenge540

Sunday Service

sun-gf

After some 150 columns and articles co-conspirators will have noticed that there was no Guido Sun on Sunday column this week. After 3 years our tabloid toil has come to to an end…

We enjoyed the challenge of writing a very different product for a mass market tabloid audience, though we won’t miss the deadline stress of sweating over our column all day Friday. The discipline of having to write tight, straight-to-the-point copy is tough. It is a cliche that it would be easy for The Sun’s journalists to produce The Times, whereas the writers of the “Thunderers” would find it much harder to successfully do “Sun Says”. That is Guido’s view having written both…

Order-Order.com is expanding in terms of both output and staff numbers, as ever our efforts are focused on breaking more news on the site first. We also have a few surprises in store for readers. Our winning formula of Westminster tittle-tattle, gossip and hard news still means that: You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

McDonnell’s Partially Published Tax Return

John McDonnell has published part of his tax return, declaring income of £61,575 in the year until April 2015, on which he paid £14,253 tax. Several eagle-eyed tweeters have pointed out that this is less than the £67,000 salary MPs were paid during this period. The discrepancy could possibly be explained by pension contributions, but the Shadow Chancellor’s team are in the Sunday Politics studio and aren’t responding to Guido’s texts. Sure there is a perfectly reasonable explanation…

UPDATE: A chartered tax advisor gets in touch:

Either what he has published is a second job or he has been a numpty and put his MP earnings on the wrong page. MPs should use special pages called SA102MP for their MP earnings, not the normal employment pages. If he has used the wrong pages it doesn’t fill you with confidence about his competence to run the UK’s tax system!

hmp

So is it fakery or foolery from McDonnell?

UPDATE II: McDonnell now says he has published his “full tax return”, which was filled out by an accountant and can be viewed as a PDF here. Pension contributions do indeed account for the missing £5,000. Though where is his SA102MP form as required for MPs? HMRC say that form must be used if you were:

  • a Member of Parliament (MP)
  • a Minister in the House of Commons
  • a Minister in the House of Lords We deal with MPs and Ministers tax records separately.

He still has until midnight if he has forgotten…

Saturday Seven Up

SATURDAY-SEVEN-UP-2

This week 148,061 visitors visited 428,692 times viewing 700,310 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

[…]

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Labour’s Digital Revolution Will Not Be Shared

digital-tom

Tom Watson is one of the more savvy digital operators and he is promising to revolutionise Labour’s digital campaigning in this video released on YouTube. Unfortunately it has – after being up over a week – only managed to chalk […]

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Cockney Donald Trump

Comedian Peter Serafinowicz on what Donald Trump would sound like if he was born in Newham instead of New York. ‘Ave a butchers…[…]

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Europhile Own Goal: Lady Brady Says Brexit Could Win England World Cup

Football Brexit

Guido thought the pro-EU scaremongers were scraping the barrel yesterday when they claimed British wildlife would suffer should Britain leave the EU. That was until Tory peer Karren Brady came out today with the idea that leaving the EU would […]

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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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