The British charity regulator has investigated a land mine clearing charity – which rose to prominence in the 1990s when the late Princess Diana was a prominent supporter – after celebrity board member Angelina Jolie quit her role having made accusations of financial impropriety.
It was revealed on Wednesday, by The Times Of London, that Jolie had resigned from the Halo Trust in May because she felt “uncomfortable” with trustees paying themselves as much as £500 a day.
Two of the trustees, it was reported, received more than £120,000 in the previous financial year, which included tens of thousands of pounds to review the trust’s “structural, remuneration and governance arrangements.”
A spokeswoman for the charity tried to play down reports that Jolie’s departure was linked to the board member payments, which the trust deemed “entirely appropriate.”
“If Ms. Jolie’s departure had anything to do with the amount [the two trustees] were being paid, it was not communicated to us at the time,” the spokeswoman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
She added that “Ms. Jolie remains very supportive of the Halo Trust,” and claimed she merely “wish[ed] to do other things.”
However, a representative for the actress said in a statement that she stepped down from the Halo Board “because of concerns she had relating to the way the Trust was run.”
The representative added: “She remains supportive of the work of Halo staff in the field, and believes strongly in the vision of a world free of landmines.”
The trust receives millions of pounds a year from that government and UN, including £5.7 million in 2014-15 from the British Department for International Development.
A spokesman for the Charity Commission, which registers and regulates British charities, said they had received a complaint relating to the payments to two board members, and other issues, but found “there was no regulatory action it could take.”