Page last updated at 15:12 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 16:12 UK

Charities warned on 'guilt' mail

Junk mail
The practice was condemned by one peer as "objectionable"

Charities which send cash through the post with appeal letters to provoke a "guilt response" could face government action, a minister has warned.

Baroness Crawley told peers that the "annoying practice" was banned by the Institute of Fundraising's code of practice on direct mail.

But she said "not enough charities are yet demonstrating best practice".

She warned "the clock is ticking for self-regulation" and said the government could intervene.

The minister was responding to a question from Conservative peer Baroness Trumpington, who asked whether it would be legal for her to send coins through the post attached to a begging letter.

Baroness Trumpington added: "If the government has the power to stop this objectionable practice, why don't they use it?"

In response, Baroness Crawley said the 2006 Charities Act contained a reserve power for the government to intervene if self-regulation should fail and "it may well have to do that".



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