We all know that some charitable trusts and foundations are a front for money-laundering and hiding ill-gotten gains.
You may remember the Cup Trust scandal that rocked the Charities Commission earlier this year.
You may remember wrinkly rogue Shirley Porter and shady person Gerald Ronson having links to a bogus charity.
You may not remember William Hague being embroiled in his own “charitable” cock-up.
” TORY Leader William Hague said he’d give cash from his speaking engagements to a charity that NEVER existed, it emerged last night.
For two years, he listed a charitable trust in the Commons Register of Members’ Interests, saying it would distribute the money to good causes in his Richmond seat.
Channel 4’s Mark Thomas Product discovered that Hague’s register entries for 1999 and 2000 said:
“Any fees received as a result of speaking engagements will be paid into the William Hague Charitable Trust.”
But yesterday, Conservative Central Office admitted that the trust did not exist.
A spokesman said the money had been donated directly to local charities – but wouldn’t say how much.
Lib Dem MP Malcolm Bruce said: “To leave the register running for more than two years without any change is, frankly, extraordinary.”
” An official inquiry into William Hague’s claims to be donating cash to a non-existent charity was demanded yesterday.
The Conservative leader pledged to distribute all speaking engagement fees to good causes in his Richmond constituency through a trust. Details of the William Hague Charitable Trust were logged in parliamentary Register of Members’ Interests for two years.
But Tory Central Office has admitted that while all the money had gone to charity the trust had never been set up. Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Elizabeth Filkin was asked to investigate the issue ‘urgently’ in a letter from Labour MP Fraser Kemp.
He set out eight questions he believes Mr Hague should answer about the misleading entry, including why he decided not to set up the trust.
‘William Hague must immediately address these questions,’ said Mr Kemp, MP for Houghton and Washington East.
A Tory spokesman said: ‘Since the trust has not been set up, it will not be included in future Registers of Members’ Interests.’
WILLIAM Hague is being probed by Commons Standards watchdog Elizabeth Filkin over a “phantom” charity trust. For two years his entry in the Register of Members’ Interests has claimed all fees from after-dinner speeches went to the William Hague Charitable Trust .
But, after repeated inquiries by The Mirror and Channel 4’s Mark Thomas , the Tory leader was forced to admit the trust does not exist.
Mrs Filkin wrote to Labour’s Fraser Kemp yesterday: “I have received a complaint on the issue which I am investigating.”