The prime minister announced the new money and a draft protection of charities bill before a meeting of his “extremism taskforce” which is to examine the government’s counter-terrorism strategy.
Cameron has published the draft legislation amid concerns about whether the UK is doing enough to stop funding reaching Islamic State (Isis) terrorists in Syria and Iraq . The measures include: banning people with convictions for certain criminal offences – such as terrorism or money laundering – from being a charity trustee; a new power to disqualify a person from being a charity trustee if the Charity Commission considers them unfit; and a requirement for a charity to shut down in an inquiry where there has been misconduct or mismanagement that risks undermining public trust.
It would also close a loophole that has stopped the Charity Commission from taking enforcement action in the past, including where trustees have resigned in order to avoid removal and disqualification.
Ministers have repeatedly made announcements over the last year about how they are toughening up charity rules and the powers of the Charity Commission, working with Ofcom to deal with extremist broadcasts, improving the inspection regime and strengthening the rules for countering extremism in schools.
At a meeting on Thursday with internet providers, the government is also likely to demand that they take more action to remove terrorist material from the web.
Cameron said it was part of his goal of confronting “the menace of extremism and those who want to tear us apart”.
“Today’s changes will help make sure that when people donate to charity, their money always goes to genuinely good causes,” he said. “They will help us become a country that stands even taller in the world, and prouder and stronger too.”
Sir William Shawcross, chairman of the Charity Commission, said: “I welcome the draft bill. It will give us new powers which will help us to be a more effective regulator. The new power to issue an official warning, for example, will allow us to warn trustees that we are monitoring their compliance with the law in situations where more forceful intervention would not be appropriate. We will play our full part in the pre-legislative scrutiny and will continue to push for more measures included in the consultation to be included in the bill.”
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