Yet more bad news for the Good Law Project this week as Guido learns they’ve just agreed to discontinue an ongoing case against DCMS over the appointment of the next charity commissioner. The GLP launched legal proceedings in September last year over claims that Oliver Dowden, the previous DCMS secretary, was threatening to “muzzle charities” by wanting the next chair of the charity commission to be selected “based on how they “rebalance” charities away from that agenda”, away from “woke credentials”. Jolyon argued this was “yet another example of this Government’s attempts to install allies at the top of our public institutions”…
After crowdfunding £84,552 however, this afternoon the GLP discontinued their case against Nadine Dorries. A departmental spokesperson confirms to Guido:
“We have always maintained that the recruitment process for the Charity Commission Chair was run properly, fairly and fully in line with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.
“It is right that the Good Law Project has withdrawn its unfounded claim given we have been clear throughout the Government had no case to answer.”
Dowden was well within his rights to ensure any prospective head of the commission demonstrated a commitment to ensuring charities remain focused on delivering their core purposes and ensuring that trustees understand their legal duties, including on campaigning and political activity. It’s literally in the job description…
A Whitehall source sets out Jolyon’s latest failure more simply:
“In short, GLP made BS claims about the Government trying to muzzle charities (it wasn’t), raised £85k in support of their spurious claim, went on a fishing exercise wasting Government time and money only to discontinue their proceedings and keep much of the cash they raised for their next politically motivated legal case (and of course pay for Jolyon’s kimonos 👘)”
Or even shorter: Jolyon loses… again.