Earlier this year, the Charity Commission wrote to the former Attorney General requesting consent to refer five questions to the first-tier tribunal concerning the registered charity that runs the Royal Albert Hall. Although the Charity Commission has the power to refer questions to the tribunal, it may only do so with the consent of the Attorney General, as set out in section 325 of the Charities Act 2011.
The Attorney General promised that he would make a decision on this matter by the end of the autumn. I am sure we are now in winter, so that decision is overdue. The majority of the Royal Albert Hall’s ruling body own a quarter of all the seats. Those seats are valued at up to £25 million, and they are allowed to sell tickets for the seats on the secondary market, making huge profits. Does the Attorney General not consider that a conflict of interest, and will he allow the Charity Commission to refer it to the tribunal?
The hon. Lady has identified the core of the concern in this case. Before assessing whether I or the Attorney General should consent to the Charity Commission’s request, we invited both the corporation of the Royal Albert Hall and the Charity Commission to make further representations. We have received those representations, and we are in the process of considering them with a view to issuing a decision in due course.