Interim manager appointed to charity after terrorist conviction

An interim manager has been appointed at the Essex Islamic Academy after its former boss was convicted of preparing terrorist acts while employed at the charity.

Jonathan Burchfield of the law firm Stone King will take on the role from Umar Ahmed Haque, who pleaded guilty to disseminating terrorist material to children who attended the charity’s madrassah.

The Charity Commission began investigating the charity, also known as Ripple Road Mosque, in October 2017 and the inquiry was announced in March this year after Haque’s conviction.

As part of the commission’s inquiry, it is considering how Haque was able to “attempt to radicalise children”, and what the trustees and others working at the charity knew about it.

The inquiry is also examining the level of supervision, due diligence and oversight the charity had over Haque, and its adherence to safeguarding policies and procedures.

As part of his interim appointment, Burchfield will be required to implement safeguarding procedures, ensure all current trustees, relevant staff and relevant volunteers have understood safeguarding procedures and completed relevant training.

He will also be required to review the charity’s government document and its financial controls and policies, but the trustees will retain control over the day-to-day running of the charity.

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