MP Fox’s charity shut down following criticism

A CHARITY created by North Somerset’s MP Dr Liam Fox has been shut down after it was criticised by the Charity Commission.

The Atlantic Bridge was registered as a charity in 2003 but was dissolved by trustees on Friday, when it was removed from the commission’s list of registered charities, after its activities were called into question.

The regulatory body had previously carried out an investigation into The Atlantic Bridge, which was set up as an education and research scheme to analyse and educate people about the relationship between the USA and UK.

The commission looked into whether the charity was advancing its education activities to benefit the public as it should be and whether it had engaged in any inappropriate political activity.

As a result, the commission found the charity had not improved its education activities due to the fact it had been focused on promoting the ‘special relationship’ between the two countries, which was not its purpose.

A report published by the commission in July 2010 said: “Although it is legitimate for a charity to study, research or educate the public about the ‘Special Relationship’, it is not permissible for a charity to promote a particular pre-determined point of view.”

According to commission rules, trustees must ensure their charities remain independent from party politics and should not support a certain party.

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Its investigation concluded the charity’s activities could lead to the public calling into question its independence from party politics.

Following its investigation, the commission told trustees the way the charity was carrying out activities should ‘cease immediately’.

However, the charity has now been wound up.

According to the Guardian newspaper, a number of top Tories including George Osborne, William Hague and Michael Gove have served on the charity’s advisory board and Baroness Maragaret Thatcher was once the honorary patron.

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