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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Reverse trolling sees donations increase as far right want charity removed from register

This news post is about 1 year old

Far right group sees its petition backfire

An effort by right-wingers to remove RNLI’s charitable status has had the opposite effect.

Donations at the lifeboat charity are up in what has become a reverse trolling response to a petition calling for it to be removed from the charity register.

Britain First launched the petition calling on the Charity Commission to remove the RNLI’s charitable status, claiming that the organisation was abusing its charity status to help ferry migrants to the UK.

The petition, called ‘Remove RNLI charity status to stop them trafficking illegal migrants!’ had garnered more than 86,000 signatures since it was posted. 

RNLI said it noticed a “moderate increase” in its online donations last week compared to the previous one but added it was “unable to attribute that to any factor”. 

The RNLI saw a 2,000 per cent rise in donations in 2021, after Nigel Farage commented that the charity was a “taxi service” for illegal immigrants. 

Following the statement, the charity raised £200,000 in 24 hours in individual donations. 

A spokesperson for the RNLI said: “The kindness of our supporters is something we never take for granted and we are always incredibly grateful for the donations we receive to enable the RNLI to continue saving lives at sea.

"Our online donations normally fluctuate week to week and throughout the year. We saw a moderate increase in donations in the week commencing Monday 10 April compared to the previous week, although we are unable to attribute that to any one factor.

“We are aware of an online petition. Everyone at the RNLI remains focused on our core purpose of saving lives at sea.”