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Charity regulator should keep out of ‘woke’ debates, says prospective chair

The charity regulator should stay as far as possible out of debates about “wokeness”, the government’s preferred candidate to head the watchdog has told MPs, saying he does not believe charities are too political.

Martin Thomas told MPs on the Commons culture select committee that the Charity Commission should be firmly independent of government, and he saw no need to change the rules around political campaigning by charities.

Thomas’s appointment has come under particular scrutiny amid widespread concern in the voluntary sector that ministers wanted to appoint a pro-Tory chair. The previous commission chair, Tina Stowell, a former Conservative politician, was criticised by some for drawing charities into “culture wars”.

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