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Charity founded by Liam Fox closes after intervention by Charity Commission

Thursday, 6 October 2011 12:03

The charity The Atlantic Bridge, which was founded by defence secretary Liam Fox, has decided to close after being told last year by the Charity Commission to cease its activities because it was "promoting a political policy [that] is closely associated with the Conservative Party".

The charity, whose objectives included furthering public education and research on relations between Europe and North America, was wound up on 23 September and removed from the register of charities on 30 September.

Fox founded the charity in 1997, but stood down as a trustee once he became defence secretary in May 2010. Members of its advisory board have included the Chancellor George Osborne, the Foreign Secretary William Hague, employment minister Chris Grayling and five US Republican senators and congressmen.

A Charity Commission report into Atlantic Bridge, published in July 2010, said the charity's "current activities must cease immediately" because they did not advance its charitable purposes.

The report said Atlantic Bridge could continue to operate as a charity so long as its future activities did not promote a political point of view.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said the trustees had decided the charity could no longer continue to operate. She said it had transferred its remaining charitable funds to another charity that had "compatible charitable objects".

The commission's 2010 report said that, in practice, the charity's activities promoted the 'special relationship' between the UK and the US that was established when Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were in power.

These activities included a lecture programme called the Margaret Thatcher Series, which discussed Thatcher's personal contribution to the 'special relationship' and said the relationship should be strengthened and promoted, the report said.

"This suggests that the activities of the charity are promoting a political policy [that] is closely associated with the Conservative Party," it said.

Comments 

 
-1 #2 Joseph Burke 2011-10-15 16:50
Last week I posted a denunciation of Atlantic Bridge and it's ultra right-wing Tory membership. This week it's founder, Liam Fox, has been forced to resign as Minister of Defence after revelations of his unauthorised relationship with Adam Werritty, apparently the only employee of Atlantic Bridge before its recent dissolution and covert advisor to the minister not only in his current cabinet post but in earlier shadow cabinet posts.

How seedy, sinister and corrupt is all this? Since 1997 (coincidentally , the year the Labour government came to power!) right-wing Tories have been cultivating a Thatcher-inspired-and-patronised, neo-con organisation supported by BICOM and like-minded, selectively protective militarists in the US and Israel.

Defence, seen in this light, seems clandestine, subversive, manipulative and financially self-interested. Premeditated, proactive Offence in fact!
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+4 #1 Joseph Burke 2011-10-08 17:01
There is nothing charitable about this organisation other than the mutually "charitable", political, self-interest shared by the right wing bigots of Toryism and Republicanism. Why it has taken so long for the CC to decide this beggars belief. How coincidental can it be that the closure is announced on the day the Werritty-Fox symbiotic relationship came under press and parliamentary scrutiny? It justifiably reinforces widespread popular belief in political cronyism of the worst kind and poses serious, unanswered questions about the Tory Party and its links with its militant and militarist Republican counterparts in the US.
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