Thursday, 7 March 2013

Haslingden charity Agapao International exposed in Private Eye

Double click image to enlarge

Following my intervention in the House of Commons on the affairs of questionable charity Agapao International, Private Eye got in touch.

Following information provided to us and given to Private Eye, and Private Eye's own further investigations and conversations with residents, this damning article has appeared in the magazine.

The evidence presented paints a picture of dubious charity both at home and abroad and highlights the flaws in UK Charity law. An issue I raised on the floor on the Commons to which the minister was at best ambivalent about. The position of the Government was to fall back on the belief that existing arrangements are being adequate. I think there are serious questions to be answered here.

That Charity's can operate in such a way, that there are no safeguarding checks especially when working with children and that assets - paid for out of the public purse - can be transferred via sale and salaries to those running the charity, is clearly not something that the existing arrangements are able to deal with.

I have in the past raised the issue of the mysterious Board of Trustees (who should be a fireguard against such activities). Some of them appeared not to know that they had been listed as trustees on the Charity Commission's records, and some appeared to be Louise Chicot's friends including the involvement of her daughter.