Regulator clears charity following anti-Semitic social media scandal

The Charity Commission has concluded its investigation into Islamic Relief Worldwide after two trustees and a director were found to have posted “offensive and anti-Semitic social media comments”.

All three made the comments prior to joining the charity and have since apologised and resigned.

The regulator says it is “satisfied” the charity took swift action once concerns were raised about the comments. This included condemning the social media posts and ensuring all three individuals involved left their roles, which they did of their own accord.

The commission is also satisfied that none of the individuals involved in the offensive posts are currently involved with the charity.

The charity’s “significant improvements” in recruitment and oversight of trustees and senior staff is also noted by the commission.

Last September former attorney general Dominic Grieve was appointed to vet charity trustees and senior staff at the charity.

In August an entirely new board was elected and a review of vetting and screening of trustees and staff was launched. This included looking at social media policies.

While the regulatory case by the Charity Commission has concluded this month, trustees have been issued with regulatory advice to take further action, including to review and, if necessary, update its trustees’ code of conduct.

“The Commission will review progress against those requirements as part of its regular monitoring work,” said the regulator.

Tim Hopkins, the regulator’s assistant director of investigations and inquiries added: “The posts made by a number of now former senior leaders within Islamic Relief
Worldwide on social media were clearly offensive and risked damaging public trust in Islamic Relief Worldwide and charities more generally.

“There is no place for anti-Semitism or any other form of racism in charity, which is a precious national asset, that we must work together to protect and promote. We welcome the improvements the charity has made to its governance so far and will continue to monitor its progress.”

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