Convicted terrorists will be banned from running British charities under government plans to stop donations being transferred to extremist groups.
The Prime Minister has announced that the government will give the Charity Commission new powers to prevent convicted criminals misusing charity funds. Measures will also include a ban on people convicted of certain crimes, such as terrorism or money laundering, from being charity trustees, and the ability for the Commission to disqualify a trustee if it rules them to be unfit.
The Independent says that the plans will also close a loophole whereby trustees under investigation can avoid being disqualified simply by resigning.
The Prime Minister said that the new measures are designed to combat “the menace of extremism and those who want to tear us apart”.
“Today’s changes will help make sure that when people donate to charity, their money always goes to genuinely good causes. They will help us become a country that stands even taller in the world, and prouder and stronger too.”
There have previously been concerns that up to 16 registered charities in the UK could be funding extremist groups.
Last year, three British Islamists were jailed after collecting £12,000 by posing as street collectors for the Muslim Aid charity. They had planned to commit mass suicide attacks similar to the London bombings on 7 July 2005.
Commission chair Sir William Shawcross said: “I welcome the draft bill. It will give us new powers which will help us to be a more effective regulator.
“The new power to issue an official warning, for example, will allow us to warn trustees that we are monitoring their compliance with the law in situations where more forceful intervention would not be appropriate.
“We will play our full part in the pre-legislative scrutiny and will continue to push for more measures included in the consultation to be included in the bill.”