Charitable Registration — [Jim Dobbin in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:50 pm on 13th November 2012.

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Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office 3:50 pm, 13th November 2012

That was a characteristically well made point, but actually the view that I have, as a Minister, on this individual decision is not relevant, for the reasons that I have just given. I am here to stand up for the commission’s freedom to take the decision, because that is the process that we have set up.

The second point is that, in exercising its functions, the Charity Commission is answerable to the courts. As many other hon. Members said, the Charity Commission’s decision not to register the Preston Down Trust has been appealed to the First-tier Tribunal. As that decision is subject to an appeal, there is a limit to what the Charity Commission can say at the moment, and I hope that hon. Members will understand that there is a limit to what I can say in response to the debate, because I do not want, as a Minister, to be accused of trying to influence a tribunal.