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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Conservation charity probed by Charity Commission

This news post is over 1 year old

Carrie Symonds is head of PR

The conservation charity where Boris Johnston’s wife is head of PR is being investigated by the Charity Commission.

The Aspinall Foundation, a wildlife charity with a focus on conserving species in danger of extinction, is the subject of a statutory inquiry from the watchdog regarding its treatment of conflicts of interest.

It has become a household name in latter years due to a huge fundraising drive that saw dozens of fundraisers collect for the charity even in Scotland despite it being based in England.

The investigation comes two months after Carrie Symonds, the prime minister's wife and a former Conservative Party employee, was hired as head of communications, although the issues predate her employment.

The regulator began examining the charity in July 2020 over concerns about the management of conflicts of interest and related-party transactions.

It opened a regulatory compliance case and began engaging with the trustees regarding these concerns in November of last year, and the trustees have been fully co-operating with the Commission.

Since that time, the regulator has identified further questions regarding the charity’s governance, and it will now examine all these issues as part of a formal statutory inquiry.

The charity is chaired by casino owner Damian Aspinall, and is overseen by a board of trustees.



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