Government told to 'come clean' around Charity Commission chair recruitment process

Campaigners have asked the government to “come clean and hand over all the communications” between ministers and the interview panel for the new Charity Commission.

The Good Law Project has demanded to see the communications amid fears the government is looking to appoint an 'anti-woke' campaigner to the role.

The Project has made the demand after launching a legal challenge around the recruitment process.

This was launched after former Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said he had instructed recruiters, to appoint a chair that would “refocus” charities. Dowden also said he was concerned about “a vocal minority” within the charity sector that is “seeking to burnish their woke credentials”.

The government has denied it has issued such instructions to the interview panel that is appointing the chair, said its lawyers in response to the Project.

But the Good Law Project wants to see evidence that this is the case.

“We’re asking Ministers to come clean and hand over all communications between the Culture Secretary and the interview panel,” said the Good Law Project.

“The case isn’t straightforward but the issues are important. If regulators aren’t neutral they can’t regulate – and this feels like the thin end of a very dangerous wedge.”

It added that the selection process around the new Charity Commission chair “is yet another example of this Government’s shameless attempts to install its allies at the top of our public institutions”.

Dowden has since been moved to Conservative Party co-chair as part of Boris Johnson’s September reshuffle. He has been replaced by former health minister Nadine Dorries.

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