The Prince's Trust slammed for illegal fundraising

The Prince's Trust broke the law by donating £10,000 to a Conservative Party affiliate, the Charity Commission has ruled.

Prince's Trust: project work with young people
Prince's Trust: project work with young people

The charity regulator said yesterday that The Prince's Trust, set up by the Prince of Wales in 1976, had risked 'its reputation and independence' by indirectly giving support to the Conservative Party during a fundraising event in October 2007.

The current law states that charities are not allowed to support political parties or figures.

The Prince's Trust held a joint fundraiser with Women2Win, a Conservative Party members association which aims to increase the number of female Tory MPs. The charity collected the proceeds of the fundraising lunch, which was attended by Baroness Thatcher, and then paid half toWomen2Win.

The Charity Commission's CEO Andrew Hind argued that entering into a joint fundraising event with a political party would 'almost certainly' result in the charity giving support to that party. 'A charity's independence is one of its most important assets', he said. 

The regulator has produced an update to its existing guidance aimed at political parties, explaining that charity donations to political parties are unacceptable.

The Prince's Trust said it is providing additional training to all staff to ensure it does not happen again. Women2Win has already paid the money back to the charity.

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