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EU referendum: Britain’s biggest environmental charities using public cash to call for In vote

March 7, 2016

By Paul Homewood 





From the Telegraph:


Britain’s biggest environmental charities have been accused of using public donations to campaign for staying in the European Union.

The charities watchdog will on Monday issue new guidance on political neutrality after Friends of the Earth, The Wildlife Trusts and Greenpeace all made public comments backing EU membership.

The charities have all insisted that Britain being a member of the EU is vital to protecting Britain’s wildlife – with one suggesting that those backing Brexit want to make the country “the dirty man of Europe”.

"Their public support of the Remain campaign has prompted formal complaints from eurosceptics and has led to the Charity Commission issuing new guidance on political neutrality during the referendum.

The new guidance from the charity watchdog says that charities should only get involved in referendum campaigning in “exceptional” circumstances and stresses that the importance of maintaining independence and neutrality.

Eurosceptic MPs and charity transparency campaigners complained that donations from the public to protect the environment were being used to campaign against Brexit and said donors would be “infuriated” by the findings.

Andrew Bridgen, the Tory MP for North West Leicestershire, has written to the Commission to see whether the charities are “breaking the law”.

“There are strict rules about charities engaging in political campaigning and organisations meant to be dedicated to good causes should not be seeking to circumvent them," he said.



It seems to be that the Charity Commission is a bit behind the times here. The likes of Greenpeace and FOE have long dropped any pretence to be apolitical.

Their support for the EU comes as little surprise anyway, since they receive so much funding from it and are allowed to wield so much influence there.

  1. Ian Magness permalink
    March 7, 2016 11:47 am

    Yep, no surprise here.
    Aside from the left leaning political aspects of these organisations it is now a fact that a great many charities depend very largely on government hand-outs, rather than public donations, for their existence. Some have become, in effect, public sector organisations in all but name. Little wonder then that “Dave” and his cronies have been orchestrating such public outcries in favour of the EU from these bodies. They are doing it everywhere else, so why not include charities?
    Oh and, by the way, the notion that or wildlife protection depends upon the EU is, of course, complete and utter nonsense. Just how stupid do “Dave” and his friends think we are?

  2. Joe Public permalink
    March 7, 2016 12:12 pm

    For those who wonder why FoE is rabidly pro-EU:

    “Friends of the Earth Europe receives funding from a variety of government and non-government sources. These include the European Commission under the ‘LIFE+ regulation’, the European Climate Foundation, …..”

  3. Eric Hutchinson permalink
    March 7, 2016 12:23 pm

    I agree entirely with Phillip Bratby and Ian Magness. My long term membership of WT will be terminated. I did not spend years of membership fees to belong to any particular political view. My membership of FoE and Greenpeace ceased long ago for similar reasons.

  4. Bloke down the pub permalink
    March 7, 2016 1:37 pm

    They choose to ignore the environmental damage done as a result of EU legislation. For a start, UK farming could be made far more environmentally friendly if we could adjust the subsidy framework to suit our needs.

  5. markl permalink
    March 7, 2016 4:06 pm

    Environmentalists have become willing dupes of the Socialist/Marxist front. They share the same goal of subjugation of man and the end justifies the means. Brexit now before it’s too late.

  6. March 7, 2016 5:05 pm

    From December 2013 – the multi-million pound cash carousel…

    ‘The European Union is paying green campaign groups millions of pounds effectively to lobby itself.

    Activists are being given the grants from a European Commission environmental fund, which enables a network of green groups to influence and promote EU policy.

    The practice has been branded a “cash carousel” by critics, who have called for the special fund — called Life+ — to be scrapped.

    In total, the fund has handed out more than £90 million to green groups in the past 15 years, according to the TaxPayers’ Alliance, which has analysed its spending.’

  7. Young John permalink
    March 7, 2016 6:19 pm

    Well that’s the end of my long term subscription to Wildlife Trust

    • Dave Ward permalink
      March 7, 2016 8:09 pm

      “Well that’s the end of my long term subscription to Wildlife Trust”


  8. Jack Broughton permalink
    March 7, 2016 7:53 pm

    Sadly, we must also add the National Trust to the politicised charitable organisations: I have written to them on this, but it was a waste to time.

  9. Jack Broughton permalink
    March 7, 2016 9:00 pm

    I’ve just found the Government releases for the 1974 referendum, it presented both sides of the case for informed decision making. If you swapped Wilson for Cameron and Labour for Conservative it could be re-issued….. maybe it will be!

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