Press release: New charity investigation: 1st Knight Military Charity

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into 1st Knight Military Charity, registered charity number 1158071. The inquiry was opened on 8 November.

The charity has objects to assist those serving or who have served in the armed forces with a particular focus on rehabilitation of those wounded during their service and the provision of grants to relieve need.

Serious concerns were identified by the Commission when it viewed undercover footage featured in the programme ‘The Great Military Charity Scandal’ and depicted representatives of the charity – including one of its trustees – making wholly inappropriate and offensive comments (see Notes to editors).

The Commission was also shown merchandise of an offensive nature by the programme makers said to have been purchased, or available for purchase, from the charity’s shop and its website. The Commission has serious concerns in relation to these items which are clearly offensive and inappropriate for the charity to be selling or otherwise associated with.

The Commission considered that the concerns identified warranted investigation as part of a statutory inquiry. The Commission has exercised its legal powers under section 47 of the Charities Act 2011 to direct the trustees to provide information and documents regarding the charity and its administration.

The issues that the inquiry will examine include the:

  • administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees
  • conduct of the trustees
  • financial controls and management of the charity
  • whether or not the trustees have and continue to comply with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities as trustees under charity law

It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were. Reports of previous inquiries by the Commission are available on GOV.UK.

The charity’s details can be viewed on the Commission’s online charity search tool.


PR 80/16

Notes to editors

  1. The programme ‘The Great Military Charity Scandal’ was broadcast on BBC One Scotland at 19:00, Tuesday 8 November 2016.
  2. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see our annual report.
  3. Search for charities on our online register.
  4. Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the Commission the power to institute inquiries. The opening of an inquiry gives the Commission access to a range of investigative, protective and remedial legal powers.
  5. The Commission’s decision to announce the opening of a statutory inquiry is based on whether it is in the public interest to do so and with consideration of our objective to increase public trust and confidence in charities.

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