William Shawcross, Chairman of the Charity Commission, commenting on Second Reading of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill today
I am delighted that the Charities Bill received strong support at today’s Second Reading debate. The Bill will fill key gaps allowing the commission to take robust action where serious mismanagement occurs. I am glad it has received cross-party support.
The Bill will help the commission maintain public trust and confidence in charities. It will do so by ensuring that charities and their beneficiaries are protected from individuals who are unsuitable to be trustees. It will also close the loophole whereby trustees can resign before being removed, thus leaving them free to take up a position to abuse other charities.
A number of safeguards are included in the Bill, including a general duty for the commission to act proportionately. The commission is determined to strike the right balance between firm regulation and proportionate action.
Research conducted by Populus earlier this year shows that these measures are well supported by the public (83%) and charities (92%). This Bill will help the commission protect charities, donors and, most importantly, beneficiaries. I look forward to this Bill continuing to progress through Parliament.