10 April 2013

MP’s bid to reinstate presumption of public benefit for religious organisations

The Conservative MP for Wellingborough introduced a Ten Minute Rule Motion in the House of Commons on 19 December 2012 seeking leave to bring a bill which would contain three tests which an organisation would have to pass before it could become a charity.

Mr Bone has since met with Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, to discuss the bill, which was brought in response to the recent Charity Commission decision to deny charitable status to the Preston Down Trust.

The Preston Down Trust is a congregation of the Plymouth Brethren, who practise a doctrine of separation which limits the contact the organisation has with the outside world. The Trust has since appealed the decision.

Very few Ten Minute Rule bills become law and the Charity Commission has said that Mr Bone’s proposed test departs from the Commission’s understanding of the public benefit requirement under existing charity law.

Category: Article