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The debacle in finding a new Charity Commission chair is a sign of wider dysfunction

The government's first choice to be chair of the Charity Commission dramatically withdrew from the role in December.

Just as most of us were setting our out of offices and turning our attention to mince pies and sherry, the Times dropped the kind of the story that stops you in your tracks: The new Charity Commission chair had withdrawn from the role amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour while chair of a charity.

To be frank, it made a lot of people look very silly indeed. And raised important questions about due diligence and the wider process of public appointments.

In parliament this week, MPs were clearly furious and used word such as “shambles”, “debacle”, and “chaos” to describe what they view as a failed process.

So, what happened? And why does it matter?

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