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Union of Good

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what investigations the Charity Commission has carried out into links between humanitarian charities based in the UK and the Union of Good in the last 12 months. (325224)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Charity Commission. I have asked the Commission to reply.

Letter from Andrew Hind, dated 29 March 2010:

As the Chief Executive of the Charity Commission I have been asked to respond to your written question on what investigations we have carried out into links between humanitarian charities based in the UK and the Union for Good in the last twelve months.

In 2009 we published a report of our statutory inquiry into the Palestinians Relief and Development Fund, registered charity number 1040094 (known as Interpal). Among other issues, the inquiry considered the relationship between this charity and the Union for Good, which we understand to be a coalition of UK and overseas organisations working with Palestinians and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The inquiry concluded that the charity’s membership of the Union for Good was not appropriate, and directed the charity to take a number of actions, including to disassociate itself from membership of the Union for Good.

At the time this inquiry report was published, the Charity Commission was aware of concerns that had been raised that other charities, registered in England and Wales, were said to be members of the Union for Good. We investigated these concerns and concluded that, on the evidence then before us, this was not the case.

The Commission is continuing to monitor Interpal’s compliance with the requirements of the Commission.

I will arrange for a copy of the statement of results of the inquiry on the charity Interpal to placed in the Library of the House. We would be very happy to meet you to discuss this area of our work further.

I hope this is helpful.