A recent ITV documentary Exposure – Charities Behaving Badly focussed on three organisations enjoying charity status supported by, or supporting racists, and the inability of the Charity Commission to close them down.
Using covert filming by undercover operators the programme makers first looked at The Steadfast Trust, an organisation that promotes British nationalism and that has been infiltrated by racists from the far Right, shown chanting Neo-Nazi slogans, and discussing a mixed-race couple with their child as “that geezer with the f****** n***** wife and their n***** kid” The Steadfast Trust has since lost its charity registration as the Commission “does not regard it as a charity”.
More difficult to control were the two other charities looked at. HSS UK promotes the Hindu religion and one of its teachers was filmed encouraging children to denigrate other religions – “there are some good Muslims but you can count them on your fingers” And a speaker for a charity promoting the Muslim faith, Global Aid Trust, was filmed making a number of anti-Semitic claims.
The Charity Commission, which was described last year as “not fit for purpose” by a House of Commons committee, agreed that the footage they were shown could only undermine public trust in charities but pointed out that they have never been given the power by the government to close charities down, something that currently only the charity trustees can do themselves.