Clause 2 — Meaning of "charitable purpose"

Part of Point of Order – in the House of Commons at 3:00 pm on 25th October 2006.

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Photo of Martin Horwood Martin Horwood Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 3:00 pm, 25th October 2006

Absolutely. A few others might have had difficulty in getting through under the formulation, "physical or mental exertion". Synchronised swimming, which is an Olympic sport, certainly involves physical exertion. Curling and, I understand from the Commonwealth games website, 10-pin bowling would unambiguously be brought into the Bill by the hon. Gentleman's amendment, which is spreading the net rather wide. I say to Mr. Gummer that I am sure that croquet is already included under "mental exertion". I speak with some authority because the Cheltenham croquet club has played host in recent years to the world croquet championships, which I attended. I was disappointed not to see the Deputy Prime Minister there—I gather that he is a fan of the sport. Great mental exertion was in evidence on that occasion, not least because two games are sometimes played simultaneously on the same lawn. That is mind boggling.

I support the group of amendments. I hope that the Under-Secretary will make it clear in any directions that he gives the Charity Commission on the substance of amendments Nos. 123 to 125 that humanist and secular charities will no longer have to jump through the hoops that the Charity Commission has specified in the past. I therefore also hope that, in future, there will be a more level playing field between those organisations and religious charities.