Bristol’s Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has written to the Charity Commission to challenge the charitable status granted to a series of far-right think tanks. The challenge comes in the wake of the concession by one such organisation, the Taxpayers Alliance, that it had unfairly dismissed and smeared Brexit whistleblower Shahmir Sanni.
Molly has sought to expose the network of organisations, many working out of 55 Tufton Street in Westminster and premises nearby, who helped push Brexit and are also ‘advocating an ultra-right liberal approach to the economy.’ She believes that the organisations are in breach of charitable status rules which state that a charity cannot have a political purpose. She said:
“55 Tufton Street in Westminster is a hive of ultra-right-wing activity. Organisations such as The TaxPayers’ Alliance, The Adam Smith Institute, The Global Warming Policy Foundation and The Institute for Economic Affairs are all listed as charities or have established trading arms in an attempt to maintain their charitable status.
“But it is clear these organisations have a clear political purpose; all of them have sought to ensure that the UK leaves the EU and then to undermine much of the EU regulation that we are currently governed by. These organisations not only have the ear of the Tory government, they have achieved a direct line to government ministers. They are also regularly heard on the BBC and have been dominating and influencing debate on Brexit and our post-Brexit relationship to the EU and the rest of the world. So I am challenging the Charity Commission to investigate each of these organisations and their trading subsidiaries to ensure that they are compatible with charitable law.”