Advocacy group Cage, which was accused earlier this year of excusing terrorism, has taken the Charity Commission to court for ‘exceeding its role’ after charities said the regulator had pressured them to stop funding the group.
Cage has made a submission to the High Court, seeking a quashing order to be made against the regulator over its decision in March to make the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Roddick Foundation withdraw their funding from the advocacy group.
Cage’s legal action stems from early March 2015, when it was heavily criticized for defending British citizen Mohammed Emwazi, who was identified as the Islamic State executioner dubbed ‘Jihadi John’.
Shortly after that, the Charity Commission announced it had opened compliance cases into the two charities, and within a few days of the cases being opened, both the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Roddick Foundation had released statements saying they had ceased funding Cage.
Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust issued a statement, cited in Cage’s High Court application, which said that it was put ‘under intense regulatory pressure’ by the Commission to withdraw its funding.
The submission also claims that the Commission wrote to ‘numerous other charities’, warning them against making any payments or ‘entering into any agreements’ with Cage in the future.
Cage, which is not itself a charity, has argued the Commission was acting outside of its powers and made its decision ‘unfairly without any prior notice’ to Cage, which violated the freedoms of expression and association of both the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Roddick Foundation.
Click here to read the full story, published by Civil Society Governance on 4 June.